The role of the information of the Marine Stewardship Council certification process in developing countries: A case study of two Mexico MSC fisheries certified in Mexico
Cano Chacon, M.
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Scientific information faces many basic challenges in developing countries that affect its use and influence. Fisheries assessments are an important management tool to assist the decisions of managers and policy and decision-makers; however, shortcomings with scientific information can hinder the role of assessments in developing countries. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification program, through its fisheries assessment methodology, gathers information about the impact of fisheries on ecosystems, the status of the fish stocks, and the status of fishery management. The purpose of this research was to develop an understanding of the role of the information of the MSC certification process in order to provide recommendations to developing countries about how to enhance the production of scientific information for fisheries management practices using the MSC’s framework. To determine the relation between the information of the MSC certification process and fisheries in developing countries, the research focused on two MSC-certified fisheries in Mexico: The Baja California and the Sian Ka’an and Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve lobster fishery. This study was conducted by a literature review, citation analysis, and semi-structured survey questionnaires send to relevant individuals. The results show that the reports produced during the certification process are substantial assessments of the state of particular fisheries. Use of the reports may be limited, however, and may be more conceptual than instrumental in fisheries management. Barriers to the use of the information in developing countries may be overcome by adopting the recommendations arising from this study. The MSC certification program is beneficial not only for socio-economic developments in developing countries but also for the information that is generated in the certification process which can inform fisheries management and increase the research capacity of developing countries.