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Anchovy fishers get educated in protection of marine species 

Marine Conservation Society bring together key players to improve fisherman's stewardship skills 

Teaching fishermen the art of environmental stewardship is just one of the achievements the MCS has brought about by working with a number of leading players in the Peruvian anchovy fishery.

A series of unique conservation training courses are being made available to fishermen as a result of MCS' direct involvement with the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organisation's Responsible Supply standard (IFFO RS).

Correctly identifying and rescuing any turtles encountered in the Peruvian anchovy fishery is just one mission MCS is keen for IFFO RS producers to carry out. To enable fishers to do this MCS has sourced number of turtle identification and resuscitation guides in Spanish from Peruvian based marine conservation organisation ProDelphinus, aided by funding from Young's Seafood's and distributed via IFFO.

These guides have proved so successful ProDelphinus has been asked to run a conservation training course for local fisherman to further increase their knowledge of these and other protected marine species.

Dawn Purchase, Senior Aquaculture Officer at MCS says: "I am delighted with the success of this project and the spin-off conservation course being run for fishermen. The IFFO RS standard provides a real opportunity to promote change on the water, which is what MCS strives to achieve. Increasing the identification skills and conservation knowledge of these fishermen is a great way of achieving environmental stewardship."

Andrew Jackson, Technical Director of IFFO says: "MCS has worked closely with us in the development of the IFFO RS standard and we are encouraged that this collaboration is now assisting in training Peruvian fishermen to minimise any effects they might be having on the turtle population. This is clear evidence that the RS standard is working in the way we always hoped it would by developing best practice initiatives amongst businesses involved in the fisheries sector."

The course aims to provide participating fishers with a background in the basic biology and conservation status of threatened sea turtles, seabirds and marine mammals. It highlights what fishers can do to help reduce incidental captures of these species, and detail how to safely handle and release animals that are incidentally captured.

Jeff Mangel of ProDelphinus says: "We are very pleased with how our collaboration with MCS has developed and helped lead to this new, exciting opportunity to reach out to fishermen and promote sustainable fisheries in Peru."

(Anchovy, from the Bay of Biscay, previously rated as a fish to eat only occasionally, is now on the MCS Fish to Eat list, following the lists latest update in February 2012. This is great news for seafood lovers as they are a staple of pizza toppings and Caesar Salad, and increasingly used in a wide variety of other recipes, too, from dips to sauces. More info on fish to eat and avoid here.)

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