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Greenpeace Assessment Of MSC Logo: “Unsuitable Fisheries Being Certified As Sustainable”

Greenpeace has released the below press release in relation to their evaluation of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) sustainable seafood program and logo.

Although Greenpeace acknowledges the MSC’s professional operation and its transparency and stakeholder involvement at all levels, Greenpeace does not currently endorse the MSC. Key reasons for this can be found in the ‘Weaknesses’ box below.

Greenpeace is of the opinion that no fully credible certification system for sustainable seafood currently exists.

About MSC

MSC is a large organization with its head office in London, and several regional offices. The MSC is governed by a Board of Trustees, which takes advice from the Technical Advisory Board and Stakeholder Council. The governing bodies include representatives from industry, environmental groups and science, and from different geographical regions.

The MSC oversees two related certifications. The first is as described on the MSC label: ‘This product comes from a fishery which has been certified to the Marine Stewardship Council’s environmental standard for a well-managed and sustainable fishery.” It relates to fisheries activities up to but not beyond the point at which the fish are landed. The program currently only applies to wild-capture fisheries not to aquaculture.

The second certification program is the “Chain of Custody” certification that ensures traceability of certified fisheries products from point of landing to sale, and allows use of the MSC logo on packaging and at fish counters, restaurant menus, etc.
Greenpeace uses a certification assessment tool to evaluate and compare some of the most commonly used certification programs. In this context we have carefully assessed the MSC and other certification schemes and made a thorough judgment about these. For a more detailed overview of the issues raised here, please download the Briefing Greenpeace Assessment of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Fisheries Certification Programme.