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Medfish project in France - Support to improve the sustainability of three Mediterranean small-scale fisheries France

Marine Stewardship Council France (MSC France) - Project Dates:
June 2019 - February 2021

Description of Project:
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) jointly launched the Medfish project in 2015 to carry out a rigorous and comprehensive analysis of French and Spanish Mediterranean fisheries using the MSC Fisheries Standard as a benchmark for sustainability.

To develop the project, MSC and WWF work with third party assessors. From June 2019 to December 2020, Poseidon supported Medfish in drafting 5-year detailed action plans aiming to act as roadmaps for the stakeholders to strengthen the long-term sustainability of three small-scale fisheries in France:

  • The common dentex longline fishery in Corsica;
  • The wedge clam (telline) hand-dredged fishery in the Gulf of Lion; and
  • The octopus pot and Portuguese trap fishery in the Gulf of Lion.

The action plans were drafted based on pre-assessment of the fisheries against the MSC sustainable fisheries certification standard and scoping documents (initial actions plans) to improve the fisheries. These latter documents were created in 2016 then 2018 by another third-party assessor by applying a participatory approach (consultations and workshops).

The main objective of the five year Plans was not to reach the MSC certification but to improve the sustainability of the fisheries by comparing their evolution of their status against the MSC certification requirements.

Services Provided:

The detailed actions plans  were updates of the initial actions plans by consulting stakeholders through individual and group interviews and physical workshops from mid-2019 to November 2020. The Plans provided additional details of the proposed actions, sometimes new actions proposed by stakeholders (for instance for the clam fishery), budget estimates to carry out the proposed actions too, guidance about potential donors to fund the actions and tools to monitor progress using tool created by the MSC, among others, one named a Benchmarking tool (BMT).

In 2021, two of three fisheries supported by Medfish in association with Poseidon are currently in the implementation phase of the action plans: the Corsican fishery and the telline fishery.

Additional details about Medfish are available on the Medfish’s website. Deliverables drafted by Medfish with Poseidon’s support are available on this web page (see documents related to the two fisheries above).

NB: for the octopus fishery, a proposed detailed action plan was transmitted, as a work document, to the main stakeholders (the regional fisheries committees especially) should they consider it relevant for potential use in the future.