Rupert Howes

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Rupert Howes is Chief Executive of the Marine Stewardship Council.

From an early age, Rupert Howes was passionate about nature. Influenced by conservationists like David Attenborough, he was determined to make the world more sustainable. Although he ultimately became an economist instead of a marine biologist, he never strayed from his childhood passion. He worked with environmental organizations, wrote a book on motivating industries to improve environmental performance and championed corporate responsibility. In 2004, he became CEO of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) because, he said, his economic training and general pragmatism “convinced me that we have to work with the grain of the market if we are to shift our economic system to a more sustainable footing. Markets are not perfect, but they can work better.” When Rupert arrived, MSC was not thriving. He revitalized the organization by hiring new staff, improving finances and developing a strategic plan. Since then, the number of fisheries undergoing certification has tripled, and the number of MSC-branded products has doubled.

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Sustainable fisheries

Global fisheries are perhaps the biggest sustainable challenge after climate change: the world wants to have its fish and eat it. But Rupert Howes looks at how, by engaging the whole supply chain, significant efforts are being made towards sustainable fisheries.