MSC reduces cost cap on objections


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
August 2, 2010

The cost for parties to lodge an objection in a Marine Stewardship Council fishery assessment has been lowered following a decision by its board to reduce the maximum amount payable from GBP 15,000 to GBP 5,000.

The MSC objections procedure offers participants in a fishery assessment a fair and transparent review, by an independent adjudicator, of contested certifier decisions. The procedure ensures that decisions are not arbitrary or unreasonable, and provides a structure in which parties' concerns about certification decisions can be transparently addressed and resolved.

"The objections procedure is a key component of the MSC fishery assessment process and is yet another way the MSC program ensures that decisions are transparent and credible. Previous objections have resulted in changes to final certification decisions and have led to fisheries being required to fulfill additional action plans specifying improvements as part of the certification decision," said Chris Ninnes, MSC deputy chief executive.

"The procedure already made provision for cost-sharing between objectors, a partial or complete waiver of fees and the opportunity to reach agreement through consultation. This new decision to lower the cap on a contribution to costs further reduces the likelihood that a fishery client or engaged stakeholder will be deterred from lodging an objection to a certification decision by an inability to pay. The MSC's credibility rests in part upon active stakeholder participation in fishery assessments; this decision helps ensure the full certification process is accessible to a wide constituency, and I welcome it," added Ninnes.

The reduced cap on costs is effective immediately for all fisheries under assessment and not subject to an existing objection, and for all fisheries that enter assessment or begin re-assessment.

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