Artesmar® Fishery Improvement

Recognizing the Merits of Artisanal Small-Scale Fishing

Artesmar® is a unique initiative for fishery improvement, dedicated to artisanal small-scale fisheries worldwide. The program recognizes high catch selectivity and low impacts on aquatic habitats as important merits of many small-scale fisheries.

Artesmar® addresses the specific challenges of small-scale fisheries and offers a functional framework for stepwise fishery improvement. By creating direct market access for seafood caught by smallholder fishers, the initiative uses market-incentivized processes and socioeconomic benefits as key drivers for the development of more sustainable business and fishing practices.

For more information about product specifications, please check out the product sheets for the Philippines and the Maldives:
Philippines Artesmar® Product Sheet
Maldives Artesmar® Product Sheet

For a brief overview of the programme, please read the Artesmar® leaflet:
Artesmar® Leaflet (English)
Artesmar® Leaflet (Español)

For more in-depth information about this unique program, please download our Artesmar® Brochure

Fisheries in the ARTESMAR® Program

Learn more about existing Artesmar® fishery improvement projects, their current status, specific fishery improvement plans and the process of independent verification against the Artesmar® improvement criteria:

Download Section: Documentation and Verification of Artesmar® Fisheries

Artesmar Project Portraits

The Artesmar® program was launched in early 2013 and will be promoted worldwide. Click below to learn about our existing projects and how artisanal fishermen have mastered the art of selective fishing.

Yellowfin Tuna | Handline | Maldives
Yellowfin Tuna | Handline | Philippines
Mahi Mahi | Single Hook & Troll | Philippines

Background: The Marginalization of Small-Scale Fisheries

Artisanal small-scale fisheries employ more than 90% of the world’s fishers and significantly contribute to global landings and trade of seafood. However, small-scale fisheries have largely been left out of the potentially rewarding process of fishery improvement and seafood certification.

This condition results in a debate over whether certification schemes, such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), can be directly applied to the realities of small-scale fisheries in developing countries or if there is a need for intermediate approaches towards fisheries improvement through market recognition and third-party verification.

Considering the multiple constraints and complex challenges many small scale fisheries are facing, it becomes obvious that candidate fisheries need market recognition and incentives for improvement prior to achieving certification. The Artesmar® initiative was specifically created to serve this need. 

Recognizing the Assets of Small-Scale Fisheries

The Artesmar® initiative recognizes two distinctive aspects of many artisanal small-scale fisheries: Their high catch selectivity and the low impact of capture gear. These two properties render products from many artisanal small-scale fisheries a more sustainable seafood choice when compared to their industrial counterparts.

Technical Criteria and Process of Improvement

Artesmar® works with a set of transparent criteria, which define both the conditions for fisheries seeking access to the program as well as the requirements for the improvement process. All criteria are subject to independent verification by a third-party auditing body.

Overview of Process Flow Artesmar®
Criteria of Eligibility and Fishery Improvement
Criteria of Chain of Custody (CoC)
Technical Annex Artesmar® Fishery Improvement Criteria

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