British Columbia Seeks MSC Approval for Fisheries


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
July 23, 2008

The British Columbia provincial government on Tuesday committed $100,000 to help its commercial fisheries obtain Marine Stewardship Council certification to prove its fisheries are sustainable and well managed.

The London-based nonprofit says that within two to three years all of the province’s major commercial fisheries will either be certified as sustainable or in the full-assessment phase of the certification process.

"British Columbians are becoming leaders in the global drive for fisheries sustainability," says MSC Environment Minister Barry Penner. "Credible eco-labeling is increasingly important for our industry to succeed in competitive markets, and it's an important part of our government's strategy to promote B.C. seafood."

The MSC certification process assesses the sustainability of commercial fisheries against an internationally recognized standard. It is anticipated that up to 15 B.C. fisheries will be engaged in the process during the next year.

More than 120 fisheries are engaged in the MSC program - 30 are certified, 72 are undergoing assessment and another 20 to 30 are in confidential pre-assessment. Nearly 1,500 seafood products worldwide are certified to bear the MSC eco-label.

"We are excited about the commitment the Province of British Columbia is making to assure the sustainability of its rich seafood resources, and we congratulate the Canadian governments and the fishing industry for their leadership and foresight in going down this path," says Rupert Howes, Marine Stewardship Council CEO. "The MSC program provides B.C. with an internationally recognized system for assessing the sustainability of its fisheries, and provides buyers worldwide with a way to make the best environmental choices and support sustainable fisheries when choosing their purchases."

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