The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is seeking funding to launch an exciting new 2-year project that will deliver widespread change in public consumption of seafood in the UK.
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Overfishing is one of the most immediate environmental threats facing Britain today. Only 8 of the total of 47 fish stocks found around the British Isles remains in a healthy state. Unsustainable fishing practices are impacting on UK marine biodiversity generally, but in particular on the species our fishermen and their communities have relied upon for centuries for their livelihoods. Ultimately, however, fisheries will only change their practices if clear market benefits are in evidence and consumers will not change their seafood preferences without a clear understanding of the issues and, more importantly, of the sustainable choices that are increasingly available to them in everyday life. ‚ÄòMSC on the Menu‚Äô aims to deliver widespread change in public consumption of seafood by promoting certified sustainable fish on a range of canteen and restaurant menus. Structured around two mutually supportive areas of activity, the project aims to achieve the following main outcomes: ‚Ä¢Availability ‚Äì Increasing purchasing opportunities and ensuring greater availability of sustainable seafood in schools, universities, workplaces and restaurants to improve consumption patterns for the better and thus deliver crucial environmental benefits; and ‚Ä¢Awareness ‚Äì Increasing awareness of both marine environmental issues and the solution provided by certified, sustainable seafood options across the project‚Äôs target audiences. Main activities: 1. Supply of MSC seafood Encouraging English fisheries to consider MSC certification, and helping chefs to learn more about the fishing industry and their sustainability challenges Working with food service suppliers to develop MSC products suitable for targeted restaurants and canteens 2. Training of Restaurants and Suppliers Training suppliers, independent restaurants and contract caterers on seafood sustainability issues Developing practical guidance to help restaurants to implement MSC certification, including a training DVD 3. Mainstreaming MSC Supporting contract caterers to develop their MSC offer Working with suppliers and distributors to promote a new online audit and assessment tool for certification 4. Consumer engagement Developing social marketing campaigns and high impact materials to help the food service sector communicate their good work to the public, and to inspire people to buy certified, sustainable seafood whenever possible The total cost of the project is ¬£712,000. We have already secured ¬£555,000 of funding including ¬£427,000 (60% of total project costs) from Defra‚Äôs Greener Living Fund. We need to secure a further ¬£60,000 for the first year of the project and ¬£97,000 for the second year.
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