Our governance

Independence, transparency, impartiality and multi-stakeholder consultation are central to the MSC’s values and commitment to continually maintain and strengthen world-leading standards.

We work hard to ensure our standards, strategy and decision-making take account of the views, expertise and experience of a wide range of stakeholders, from academia and government, the fishery and market sectors, and the environmental NGO community. 

Our governance structure involves a wide range of stakeholders with different perspectives to ensure that the MSC’s decisions are balanced, reflecting many sectors and interests. 

In addition to our governance groups, stakeholders are invited to participate in consultations on our standards and requirements, and are encouraged to participate in independent fisheries assessments.

Chart of MSC Governance Structure

In addition to our governance bodies, standing and ad hoc working groups may be established by the Board, Technical Advisory Board or Stakeholder Advisory Council to address specific regional or topical issues. Their members come from the MSC Board, Technical Advisory Board and Stakeholder Advisory Council, and may include other independent experts who are invited to advise the MSC. 

The Board of Trustees is also supported in its work by a number of Board Committees, which meet throughout the year to reflect in detail on specific areas of the MSC’s activities and operations.  Their membership is primarily drawn from the Board of Trustees.

If you are interested in participating in the MSC’s stakeholder consultations, or if you have any questions about our governance structures and processes, please contact the MSC’s governance secretary.

The MSC Board of Trustees

The MSC Board of Trustees is our governing body. With advice from the Technical Advisory Board and Stakeholder Advisory Council, it sets the strategic direction of the MSC, monitors progress and ensures the MSC meets its objectives.

The Board of Trustees meets 4 times a year and has a maximum of 15 members.

Main activities

  • Ensuring the MSC meets its charitable aims
  • Setting the strategic direction of the MSC, and monitoring progress in delivery of strategy
  • Ensuring that the MSC is financially secure
  • Publicly accounting for expenditure and income
  • Ensuring the MSC operates in a legally compliant manner in relevant jurisdictions
  • Appointing new Board members and key MSC staff
  • Appointing members of the Technical Advisory Board and Stakeholder Advisory Council

Leadership

The Chair of the Board of Trustees leads the Board and is elected for a term of three-years, and may serve up to three terms. Another trustee may be elected as Vice-Chair. 

Appointments 

Trustees are chosen for their knowledge, expertise and support for the MSC. Membership is balanced with representatives from different sectors and geographical regions (as well as other relevant demographic criteria) to reflect the broad mix of stakeholders who have a stake in the MSC's mission.

Potential new Board members are identified by existing members, and following a review process, suitable nominees are approached for interview. Favourable references must be provided, and there must be consensus amongst all Board members on the appointment of a new candidate.

Trustees are nominated by the Board in a personal capacity, not as representatives of their organisations. They serve a maximum three-year term and may stand for reappointment.

The Chair of the Technical Advisory Board and both Co-Chairs of the Stakeholder Advisory Council have a seat on the Board to ensure that these important governance bodies are represented in Board decisions.  The Chair of the MSCI Board is also an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees.

Trustees

Dr Werner Kiene MSC board ChairDr Werner Kiene - Chair

Commenced appointment as Chair in July 2013, Dr Werner Kiene has over 40 years' experience in key strategic positions in global development, leading international multi-stakeholder initiatives in the fields of food security and sustainable resource management. He has a background as an agricultural economist and previously served as Chair of the World Bank Inspection Panel and as Chair of the Compliance Review Panel of the Inter-American Development Bank. He has been involved in Fairtrade Certification and held leadership positions in the UN World Food Programme, the Ford Foundation, and German International Cooperation-GIZ.

Dr Simon JenningsProf Simon Jennings - Chair of the Technical Advisory Board 

Chair of Science Committee at the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) in Copenhagen; expertise in ecosystem impacts of fishing and marine environmental management.

Mr Paul Uys, MSCI board chairMr Paul Uys - MSCI board chair

Appointed July 2015. Paul Uys is a senior executive with 40 years global retail experience specialising in brand creation, product development & sourcing. He was recruited from Woolworths South Africa to join Loblaw Companies, Canada’s largest supermarket, to head the emerging product development department of their control brands. In his latter days he spearheaded its sustainable seafood procurement initiative and played a key role in establishing their responsible sourcing position "Food for the Future." In 2013 he retired from Loblaws, and now advises various organisations, including WWF-Canada on strategic ocean industry matters. He became Senior Director, External; heading up the University of Guelph's Food Institute, Canada’s food university. He currently is a board member of both Ontario’s Livestock Research Institute and The Ontario Farm Agenda for Sustainable Agriculture.

Mr Eric Barratt, Finance Committee chairMr Eric Barratt - Finance Committee chair

Appointed January 2014, Mr Eric Barratt was Managing Director of Sanford Ltd from 1998 until he retired in December 2013. He had been a Director of Sanford Ltd since 1986. He is also a former Chairman and a Director of Seafood New Zealand Ltd and Chair of the Korea New Zealand Business Council, and also acts as Iceland's Honorary Consul in Auckland. Mr Barratt has had extensive involvement in the development of the New Zealand industry and the Quota Management System.

Mr Peter TrottMr Peter Trott – Stakeholder Advisory Council Co-Chair

Appointed in October 2014. Mr Peter Trott is co-founder of the sustainable seafood consultancy, Fishlistic and previously led work for WWF-Australia's fisheries programme. Peter acts as a conservation member on the Australian Tropical Tuna Ministerial Advisory Committee, and sits on the Commonwealth Fisheries Research Advisory Board and the Great Australian Bight Trawl Ministerial Advisory Committee. Before joining WWF, Peter worked in fisheries management with Australian state fisheries agencies, and has over 15 years of experience in fisheries management, resource sharing and ecosystem principles. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries Management and Aquaculture and an Honours degree in Aquatic Sciences (aquaculture systems and disease).

Ms Christine Penney, Stakeholder Advisory Council Co-ChairMs Christine Penney – Stakeholder Advisory Council Co-Chair

Appointed July 2017. Christine Penney is Vice-President, Sustainability and Public Affairs for Clearwater Seafoods Limited Partnership, North America’s largest shellfish company, based in Nova Scotia, Canada. She is responsible for Clearwater’s government and industry relations including regulatory affairs, fisheries management, trade policy issues, and also manages the company’s fisheries research and sustainability programs. Christine sits on the Board of Directors for several Canadian industry associations. 

Ms Lynne Hale headshotMs Lynne Hale

Commenced board appointment in July 2013. Ms Hale is Senior Marine Conservation Fellow at the Nature Conservancy’s Global Marine Initiative, and formerly acted as Director of the initiative.  It has major organisational marine initiatives in 22 countries with a focus on sustainable fisheries, integrated ocean management, and habit protection and restoration.  She has previously held senior positions with the Coastal Resources Centre (University of Rhode Island) LZH Associate Consulting, and the Alaska Native Foundation; and has published extensively on coastal resources and management issues.

Mr David Mureithi headshotMr David Mureithi

Commenced board appointment in July 2013. Mr Mureithi was an experienced senior executive within Unilever’s leadership team in West Africa, and now works as a Director at Vivo Energy.  Mr Mureithi was formerly Managing Director of Unilever West Africa, and previously held positions as MD Unilever East & Southern Africa; MD Unilever Kenya, Supply Chain Director for Unilever East Africa and Chief Engineer of Unilever Francophone West Africa. Other roles include founder chair of the Business Action against Chronic Hunger (Kenya), former Vice-Chair of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and former Chair of the Kenya Shippers Council.

Mr Jean-Jacques Maguire headshotMr Jean-Jacques Maguire

Appointed July 2014. Jean-Jacques Maguire is currently a consultant in fishery science and management. He has acted as chair of the advisory committee of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES); and has been invited to participate in a number of review panels including a review of the performance of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean, and a review of the performance of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas. Mr Maguire has extensive experience with stock assessments and has worked as a senior fisheries scientist at the Canadian Department of Fisheries and at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Mr Jim Leape headshotMr Jim Leape

Appointed December 2015.  Mr Jim Leape has worked in conservation for more than three decades. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Jim began his career as an environmental lawyer: bringing environmental protection cases in the United States; advising the UNEP in Nairobi, Kenya; and co-authoring the leading American text on environmental law. Mr Leape joined WWF-US in 1989, and led their conservation programmes around the world, serving ultimately as Executive Vice President.  From 2001 to 2005, he directed the conservation and science programme of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, one of the largest philanthropies in the US.  In 2005, Jim was appointed Director General of WWF International, serving as the chief executive of WWF International and leader of the global WWF Network.  He held that position until 2014.  He is currently the Cox Consulting Professor in the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University.

Mr Felix Ratheb headshotMr Felix Ratheb

Appointed December 2015.  Felix Ratheb is the chief executive of Sea Harvest Corporation. Mr Ratheb joined Sea Harvest in 2003 and held the positions of commercial manager and sales and marketing manager before being appointed CEO in 2014. He holds an electrical engineering degree from Wits University, a diploma in international trade and an MBA from the University of Cape Town. Following a career as an international metals trader, he successfully operated his own trading business in South Africa and acted as a visiting lecturer (business strategy) at the University of Cape Town for five years. Mr Ratheb also worked as an International Trade Executive working in various locations in the Far east. 

The MSC Technical Advisory Board

The Technical Advisory Board advises the MSC Board of Trustees on technical and scientific matters relating to the MSC Standards, including developing methodologies for certification and accreditation and reviewing the progress of fisheries certifications.

Main activities 

  • Advising the MSC Board on the MSC Standards
  • Maintaining documents relating to the MSC Standards
  • Developing methodologies for certification and accreditation
  • Reviewing the progress of and advising on fisheries certifications.

Leadership

The Technical Advisory Board is appointed by the Board of Trustees, based on recommendations from the TAB. The Chair has an ex officio seat on the MSC Board of Trustees, so is involved in all Board activity.

Appointments

The MSC Board of Trustees appoints new members to the Technical Advisory Board, with the aim of bringing a range of experience, skills and geographical representation. Members are nominated in a personal capacity not as representatives of their organisations. Members serve a 3-year term and may stand for reappointment.

Read the MSC Technical Advisory Board Terms of Reference and Operating Framework

Members

Prof Simon Jennings (UK) - Technical Advisory Board Chair
Appointed December 2014

Chair of Science Committee at the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) in Copenhagen; expertise in ecosystem impacts of fishing and marine environmental management.

Dr Chris Zimmermann (Germany) 
Appointed June 2010

Director of the Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries, expert on fisheries stock assessment and management systems.

Adam Swan (UK)
Appointed September 2008

Brakes, expert understanding of the seafood industry and chain of custody.

Dr Tim Essington (United States) 
Appointed July 2011

Professor of Fisheries Sciences at the University of Washington, focussing on fisheries, aquatic ecology, predator-prey interaction, ecological modelling and food webs.

Lucia Mayer Massaroth (Germany)
Appointed January 2011

Program Manager, Chain of Custody, Forest Stewardship Council. Expert on certification and accreditation.

Dr K. Sunil Mohamed (India) 
Appointed November 2011

Head, Molluscan Fisheries Division, Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), expert on tropical fish stock assessment and ecosystem modelling.

Dr Keith Sainsbury (Australia) 

Appointed March 2005

Fisheries assessment scientist working for Sainsolutions; expert on aquatic ecosystems and fisheries management systems.

Mr Alex Olsen (Denmark) 

Appointed September 2013

Head of sustainability at Espersen; expert understanding of the seafood industry and chain of custody. 

Dr Victor Restrepo (USA) 
Appointed July 2012

Chair, Scientific Advisory Committee, and board member of International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF). Expert in tuna, large pelagics and Regional Fisheries Management Organisations.

Dr Juan Carlos Seijo (Mexico) 
Appointed December 2014

Professor of fisheries bioeconomics at the Universidad Marista de Merida; expert in bioeconomic analysis and modelling of marine fisheries.

Ms Michèle Stark (Switzerland) 
Appointed June 2016

Executive Advisor, Seafood Advisory Ltd, with expertise in sustainable aquaculture analysis, impact assessments, seafood standards, and certification and accreditation systems.

Dr Florian Baumann (Germany) 
Appointed January 2017

Head of Quality Assurance, Frozen Fish International GmbH, Chair of the Scientific and Technical Committee of the German Fish Trade Association, with expertise in auditing and traceability.

Sergey Sennikov (Russia) 
Appointed January 2018

Chief Sustainability Officer at Norebo Group with expertise in fishery sustainability and CSR in all Norebo's operations (in Russia and other countries), legal practices (fishery), international and national fishery law, international relations and communications with mass media.

The MSC Stakeholder Advisory Council

The MSC Stakeholder Advisory Council (STAC) provides advice to the MSC Board of Trustees and input into the MSC’s review processes. It includes representatives from the seafood industry, conservation community, market sector and academia. Its membership reflects diverse experiences, geographies and interests in relation to the work of the MSC.

The Stakeholder Advisory Council is also a formal channel through which all stakeholders, whether members of the Stakeholder Advisory Council or not, can provide their views to the MSC.

Formal correspondence sent directly to individual Stakeholder Advisory Council members or to the STAC collectively will be forwarded to MSC’s executive (Alene Wilton – MSC’s Corporate Service Director and Company Secretary) and copied to the Stakeholder Advisory Council Co-Chairs.  The MSC will respond, as appropriate, in accordance with its public correspondence protocol. The Stakeholder Advisory Council will not enter into direct correspondence.

Main activities

  • Provides views, advice, recommendations and informed opinions to the MSC Board of Trustees on the MSC Fisheries and Chain of Custody Standards, their implementation and application.
  • Provides strategic and tactical advice on other functions of the organisation, including where appropriate, commercial, development, outreach and communications programs.
  • Provides advice and views on existing and emerging issues which may affect the ability of the MSC to implement its program and achieve its strategic goals, and to bring new issues that may affect the MSC’s ability to achieve its mission to the MSC for consideration.
  • Addresses and gives views on specific matters on which the Board of Trustees requests advice. 
  • Submits its views to the MSC Board of Trustees, which considers this input when making decisions.

The Stakeholder Advisory Council meets at least once per year.

Leadership 

The Stakeholder Advisory Council has two Co-Chairs, serving 3-year terms. These are arranged so that the Co-Chairs have staggered appointments. Each Co-Chair serves as an ex-officio member of the MSC Board of Trustees. 

Appointment and structure

Appointments to the Stakeholder Advisory Council are made by the MSC Board of Trustees. Members normally serve three year terms, and may be appointed for up to two terms.

The Council comprises up to seventeen members, six of whom are from the seafood industry (processing or harvest), six of whom are from the conservation community; and two from the market sector.  Within this membership, the MSC strives to ensure adequate representation from developing world and small-scale fishery interests. The remaining three seats on the Council are undesignated, and used to ensure a balanced membership in the light of the MSC’s strategic objectives.

Further information

Please email Karolina Walkowicz, MSC Governance Secretary for further information on the MSC Stakeholder Advisory Council.

Members

Peter Trott, Co-Chair, Fishlistic, Australia

Christine Penney, Co-Chair, Clearwater Seafoods, Canada

Yumie Kawashima, Aeon, Japan

Louise Heaps, WWF, UK

Agathe Grossmith, Carrefour, France

Heather Brayford, Government of Western Australia, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Australia

Carmen Revenga, The Nature Conservancy, USA

Darian McBain, Thai Union, Thailand

Johann Augustyn, SADSTIA, South Africa

Ivan Lopez, Pesquera Ancora, Spain

Marco Quesada, Conservation International, Costa Rica

Yorgos Stratoudakis, IPMA, Portugal

Rory Crawford, Birdlife International/RSPB, UK

Stefanie Moreland, Trident Seafoods, USA

Tor Larsen, Norwegian Fishermen’s Association, Norway

Amanda Nickson, The Pew Charitable Trusts, USA

The Marine Stewardship Council International Board

Marine Stewardship Council International (MSCI) is a wholly owned trading subsidiary of the MSC. Its Board provides oversight of MSCI’s commercial and marketing activities, which are primarily focused on ecolabel licensing, and supporting public education campaigns and growing awareness and understanding of sustainable seafood and the MSC ecolabel.

Membership includes the Chair of the MSC Board of Trustees and the MSC’s Chief Executive. 

The Chair of the MSCI Board is an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees.

Members

Mr Paul Uys, MSCI Chair

Dr Werner Kiene, Board of Trustees Chair

Mr Eric Barratt

Mr Rupert Howes, MSC Chief Executive

Mr Jeff Davis

Subsidiary boards

The MSC has established several other subsidiary companies in key jurisdictions, most of which are registered charities.  These are separate legal entities for the purposes of taxation, regulation and charitable activities. Each has a board to oversee its operations.

All our main governance bodies include representatives from different geographical regions, ensuring that our strategies, standards and policies are globally applicable. All members must conform with our Declaration of Interest policy.

More about the MSC

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Reports and brochures

Read or download the MSC Annual Report and other documents. For 20 years we've been part of a team effort to keep oceans healthy and seafood sustainable.

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How we meet best practice

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