MSC ‘most compliant’ with international criteria


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
September 5, 2012

A new independent, global analysis of wild-capture seafood sustainability certification schemes found that the Marine Stewardship Council is the most compliant with international sustainability criteria.

The criteria measure the status of the stocks, the environmental footprint of the fishery, the efficacy of the management system and transparency, professionalism and independence of the certification process.

“Comparison of Wild Capture Fisheries Certification Schemes,” an update of a previous World Wildlife Fund commissioned report from 2009, evaluated four different certification schemes. The programs included Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Friend of the Sea, Iceland Responsible Fisheries and MSC.

“Given the urgency of challenges facing the world’s fisheries and current confusion surrounding the meaning of different eco-labels, it is important to get a clear, independent assessment of their certifications to help consumers make informed choices,” said Alfred Schumm, leader of WWF’s Global Smart Fishing Initiative.

“This report demonstrates that MSC, while still improving, is clearly the best program to drive uptake of sustainable seafood in the market and protect fisheries and their surrounding ecosystems, because its score greatly exceeds the other schemes.”

The report builds on a previous study conducted by Accenture Development Partnerships that benchmarked 17 on-pack wild-capture seafood sustainability certification programs and seafood eco-labels. The new report includes an updated and enhanced analysis of four certification programs to account for recent changes and to further evaluate how they are being implemented. The updated criteria for this assessment include new validation and priority ecological indicators for WWF.

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