Marine Stewardship Council is an independent, global, non-profit organization that was set up to find the solution to the problem of over-fishing. It was first established by Unilever, the world's largest buyer of seafood and World Wide Fund (WWF ), the international conservation organization in 1997. MSC became fully independent from both organizations in 1999 and are funded by a wide range of organizations including charitable organizations and corporate organizations around the world.
What is Sustainability?
A well managed and sustainable fishery protects the fish and the environment in which they live whilst allowing responsible use of the species that come from it. It will ensure that there is a future for the industry and all those who depend on the fisheries for their livelihoods
MSC's mission is to improve the health of the world's oceans and contribute to creating a sustainable global seafood market. MSC wants to encourage fisheries around the world to meet their rigorous, science-based standard for environmentally responsible and sustainable fishing.
What is MSC Standard?
The MSC standard is a set of internationally recognized principles and Chain of Custody methodology for measuring fisheries to assess if they are well managed and sustainable. It is based on the UN FAO guidelines and involves an international fishery certification and eco-labeling programme. This programme uses a product eco-label to reward environmentally responsible fishery management and practices.
Three Principles of the MSC Standard
Principle 1 – The condition of the fish stocks
This examines if there are enough fish to ensure that the fishery is sustainable.
Principle 2 – The impact of the fishery on the marine environment
This examines the effect that the fishing has on the immediate marine environment including other non-target fish species, marine mammals and seabirds.
Principle 3 – The fishery management systems
This principle evaluates the rules and procedures that are in place, as well as how they are implemented, to maintain a sustainable fishery and to ensure that the impact on the marine environment is minimized.