BC has chosen the international “gold standard” in eco-certification
In July of 2008, the provincial government committed to help BC’s commercial fisheries obtain certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Halibut, hake, sablefish, sockeye salmon, pink salmon, albacore tuna, and spiny dogfish fisheries in BC are MSC certified, and other fisheries are in the assessment process.
The Marine Stewardship Council is an international non-profit organization that recognizes, via a scientifically-based certification and ecolabelling program, well-managed wild-capture fisheries. Of the numerous approaches to fisheries eco-certification, MSC is the only one that is fully consistent with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) guidelines for ecolabelling, and is considered the international “gold standard” for fisheries sustainability.
The United Nations' FAO “Guidelines for the Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries” require that credible fishery certification and ecolabelling schemes include:
- Objective, third-party fishery assessment utilizing scientific evidence;
- Transparent processes with built-in stakeholder consultation and objection procedures;
- Standards based on the sustainability of target species, ecosystems and management practices.
The MSC has offices in London, Seattle, Tokyo, Sydney, The Hague, Edinburgh, Berlin, Cape Town and Paris.
In total, approximately 190 fisheries are engaged in the MSC program with more than 65 certified and more than 120 under full assessment. Another 40 to 50 fisheries are in confidential pre-assessment. Together, fisheries already certified or under full assessment record annual catches of close to seven million metric tons of seafood, representing more than 12 percent of global capture production for direct human consumption. Worldwide, more than 3,800 seafood products—which can be traced back to the certified sustainable fisheries—bear the blue MSC ecolabel.
- Marine Stewardship Council www.msc.org