The Ashtamudi short-necked clam fishery

The Ashtamudi short-necked clam fishery


Ashtamudi short neck clam fishery
achieved MSC certification in 2014, making it India’s first
certified fishery and only the third developing world
fishery to be certified in Asia. Up to 1,000 fishers in the area rely
on clam harvesting to ensure their livelihoods. Fishers paddle dugout canoes from
nearby villages to the shellfish beds and divers dislodge the clams from the
seabed with their hands and feet. Our teams of two or three fishermen use a hand dredge from the canoe. On a good day over a period of four to five hours a
fisherman can gather as much as 200 kg of shellfish. This is a fantastic achievement for India. It’s the first fishery in India to be
certified, it’s only the third fishery in this area of Asia, it’s a small scale
fishery, the fishers have changed the way they
operate. Very well-managed fishery and the
leadership quality here for this fishery and for India is very,
very high. Our advice to the Ashtamudi lake fisheries clam fishers is that there should be a closed season, there should be a regulation on the mesh size, and there should be a regulation on the cones. This kind of certification is always helpful for improving the sustainability of the resources. This fishery now has access through the MSC certification logo to
meet the demand that many companies have. They say we need MSC certified fish, and this fishery can
now satisfy those demands. Exporters have to take maximum benefit of this label that they have received
now. Their access to new markets would increase especially in Europe and
the whole community benefits from this kind of certification. India needs to build on this and so many more such small-scale high-value fisheries would and should come into certification process and eventually the benefits are taken by
the fishers themselves and also the industry. This MSC certification of the short neck clam fishery is a good case study and a good
example for scoping up to different areas like other crustaceans like lobsters, crabs, tuna… We know that number of fisheries are in
fisheries improvement projects which means that they have identified things they need to do to improve to the point where they could go for certification. They have not yet said they will be going for
certification but I very much hope the example that Ashtamudi has shown will show
to these other fisheries that it can be done. Indian fisheries as well as all other fisheries in the
world, they can achieve sustainability and the benefits.

local_offerevent_note September 28, 2019

account_box Gilbert Heid


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One thought on “The Ashtamudi short-necked clam fishery”

  • Today’s World Hunger Day celebrates sustainable solutions to ending extreme hunger and poverty. This beautiful clip shows how India’s first MSC-certified fishery Ashtamudi has revived the local community and ensured a sustainable future.

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