MSC certification includes 'enhanced fisheries'
The Marine Stewardship Council on Thursday clarified its position on the eligibility of enhanced fisheries to be assessed under its standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries, allowing for many forms to be assessed under the program.
In June 2008, the MSC confirmed aquaculture production would not be included in the scope of its certification program. However, at its meeting in January the council agreed the program is suitable for a wide variety of enhanced fisheries involving different forms and degrees of human intervention.
"This is an important clarification of the scope of the MSC standard. While enhanced fisheries have always been represented within the MSC program, the MSC has never defined the limits to the scope for enhanced fisheries to be assessed," said Rupert Howes, MSC CEO. "The decision on enhanced fisheries draws a line in the sand that will inform potential fisheries as to whether or not they are now in scope for an MSC assessment. We believe many new fisheries will now move forward into assessment process now that we have this clarification."
The MSC has a history of engaging with fisheries that include some form of enhancement, from the hatchery-based stocking components in the Alaska salmon fishery to the habitat modifications in the Burry Inlet cockle fishery.
The MSC will develop further technical guidance for enhanced fisheries involvment in the program and will closey follow assessments of enhanced fisheries to ensure consistency.