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MSC Reports 400 Improvements In Fisheries

In its recent Global Impacts Report, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) announced that it had acknowledged as many as almost 400 improvements to fisheries that carry the MSC certification.

This unique research was carried out by a new team within the Standards Department and the findings published as a quantitative evaluation of the performance of the fisheries and the impact they had on the oceans and seafood markets.

There are currently 205 certified fisheries in the MSC program which recognizes sustainable fishing practices, of which ten are tuna fisheries, with another six in assessment.

Consumers choosing products with the MSC label are said in the report to be helping to “create a wave a sustainable fishing practices around the world.”

The MSC is the only sustainable seafood certification program to be currently undertaking performance evaluation in this way, which identified that 13 fisheries under their accreditation had completed stock improvements to reach best practice levels; 22 fisheries had completed habitat and ecosystem improvements, including gear modification, research and new closed areas; and as many as 64 fisheries had completed fishery management improvements including strengthened compliance with regulations.

The average improvement action plan for MSC fisheries takes only three years to complete, and the MSC hopes that these improvements will continue to be made throughout its certified members.

Dr David Agnew, Standards Director for MSC said: “ There’s a natural expectation from those involved in the MSC program, particularly consumers and retailers, that their actions are contributing to improving the status of the marine environment. The 2013 Global Impacts Report presents a quantitative evaluation of ‘on the water’ impacts, the contribution of the MSC to creating a market for sustainable seafood, and case studies of sustainable fisheries from across the globe.”