MSC close to GSSI recognition as reliable certification scheme

Published on
November 11, 2016

The Marine Stewardship Council’s certification scheme has entered the public review period of the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative’s multi-step process for recognizing the program as meeting the organization’s standards for governance, operations and fisheries management.

On Friday, 10 November, the GSSI launched a four-week public consultation period, during which time it will seek public input on its benchmark report for the MSC. Earlier this fall, independent experts and GSSI Benchmark Committee found the MSC to be in alignment with all GSSI Essential Components – standards by which the organization evaluates the reliability of seafood certification programs.

MSC entered into a GSSI review in June 2016, and the public consultation period is one of the last steps in the process of it obtaining GSSI validation. Following the public review, GSSI's Benchmark Committee will provide its steering board with a final recommendation on recognition, whereupon, if the program obtains validation, all public comments and responses will be made publicly available.

The GSSI, launched in October 2015, seeks to “provide clarity of seafood certification worldwide through a multi-component review that is based upon the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and the FAO Guidelines for seafood certification and eco-labeling.

The Alaska FRM received GSSI validation in July 2016, and last week, the GSSI validated the Icelandic Responsible Fisheries Management (IRFM) certification program.

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