The Marine Stewardship Council
MSC is an international non-profit organization set up to promote solutions to the problem of over-fishing.
MSC offers fisheries around the world a way to be recognised and rewarded for good management. By working in partnership with sustainable fisheries to create a market for sustainable seafood, other fisheries are incentivised to change their practices.
The MSC has developed standards for sustainable fishing and seafood traceability. Assessments against both MSC standards are carried out by independently accredited certifiers. The MSC's ‘third-party’ approach ensures certification and ecolabelling program is robust, credible and meets best practice guidelines.
- MSC environmental standard for sustainable fishing - Fisheries can demonstrate that their practices are sustainable and access market benefits by getting certified to the MSC standard for sustainable fishing.
- MSC chain of custody standard for seafood traceability - When seafood is sold with the MSC ecolabel every business in the supply chain must have undertaken a detailed traceability audit against the MSC Chain of Custody standard. This ensures that only seafood from a certified sustainable fishery is sold with the MSC.
Extensive communications and marketing activities raising awareness of the MSC blue ecolabel has provided an easy way to make an environmental choice when shopping or dining out. The MSC has also joined forces with some of the world's leading retailers, brands and seafood businesses to help them meet customer expectations and increase their sustainable seafood offer. Many retailers have placed the MSC at the centre of sustainable seafood policies. The MSC runs the only certification and ecolabeling program for wild-capture fisheries consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization guidelines for fisheries certification. The FAO ‘Guidelines for the Eco-labeling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries’ require that credible fishery certification and eco-labeling schemes include:
Objective, third-party fishery assessment utilising scientific evidence,
Transparent processes with built-in stakeholder consultation and objection procedures,
Standards based on the sustainability of target species, ecosystems and management practices.