Guaranteeing social and economic sustainability in Chilean artisanal fisheries certification processes: guidelines for implementation.

Supervisors: Maria C Uyarra (AZTI), Emma Plotnek (World Wildlife Fund, Chile).
Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and other sustainable fisheries certifications are mainly focused on biological and ecological requirements, such as ensuring sustainable fish stocks and minimizing environmental impacts. Sustainable certifications rarely focus on social and economic requirements or consider the wellbeing and development of local fishing communities. Fisheries managers around the world have long identified that considering the social aspects of sustainability in certification schemes is indispensable. The scope of this project was to, primarily, assess previous certification experiences and Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) from Chile and Latin America. The assessment was carried out through interviews with a comprehensive list of stakeholders involved in certifying fisheries, or in fisheries under FIPs, including fishermen, managers, researchers, industry, and NGOs, with the objective of identifying: (1) the nature of social sustainability, social benefits in the Chilean perspective (2) the difficulties in achieving them; (3) how these social benefits can be secured, based on Chilean experiences; (4) the groups of stakeholders involved in the processes; (5) the steps to ensure social sustainability are always generated during Certification and FIPs projects. As a result, this assessment proved that the previous establishment of a socially stable environment of trust, learning, valorization of fisheries, participation, etc., was always necessary in projects towards improvement of fishing activities in Chile; which is confirmed by existing theories about successful management of common resources. The work also analyses and discusses the behavior of the actors and show that overall interviewees proved to have the intuition to act positively towards the development of co-management. A practical guide for hands-on stakeholders acting with the development of social sustainability intends to facilitate even more the process and will be applied to a pilot project with the artisanal Southern Sardine (Sprattus fuegensis) fishery in the X Region of southern Chile, currently taking initial steps towards certification.