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The MSC has a vital role to play in safeguarding seafood resources through our certification and ecolabelling program for sustainable seafood. As a relatively small organisation, our Strategic Plans provide essential direction to help us make the greatest improvements to marine environments.

Looking forward

Our vision

For the world's oceans to be teeming with life, and seafood supplies safeguarded for this and future generations.

Our 2020 goal

20% of global marine catch comes from MSC certified or engaged fisheries, supporting productivity and resilience in globally important marine ecosystems.

The MSC’s Board of Trustees has extended the Integrated Strategic Plan for a further 2 years to 2022: the five pillars of our ISP remain relevant to our work in delivering our mission and strategic aspirations, and we continue to focus our activities in these areas.

Our 2030 aspiration

More than a third of global marine catch certified or engaged by 2030. MSC is a leading catalyst for improved fisheries management and market transformation, contributing to the sustainable use of our oceans, supporting resilience, food security and livelihoods.

The five pillars of our Strategic Plan

1. Recognising and rewarding sustainable fisheries and incentivising improvement

Today 14% of global marine catch is either certified or engaged in the MSC program. We aim to increase this figure to 20% by 2020, with an ambition of more than a third by 2030. 

To achieve this we will focus efforts on ecosystems currently underrepresented in the MSC program, but where catches and the threat to biodiversity are high. In addition to tuna and small pelagic species, new priority species will include squid, octopus, crab and seaweed. The MSC will also deliver new tools to better enable fisheries in the Global South to progress towards MSC certification. Over the next three years the MSC aims to double the number of fisheries from the Global South involved in its program.

2. Ensuring MSC certifications are credible and reflect global best practice

The MSC will maintain its focus on efforts to ensure we continue to meet global best practice in sustainable fisheries management. New measures, for example for labour practices, will be introduced, along with new tools and systems to make the certification process more efficient, credible and user-friendly, such as digital auditing tools.

3. Cultivating and expanding sustainable seafood markets

We will deepen engagement with key commercial partners and focus on building demand in markets that offer the biggest incentives to drive change on the water. This includes European markets of Germany, the UK, France, Spain and Italy, as well as the US, China and Japan.

4. Building public awareness and support and demonstrating science and impact

We will increase our scientific engagement and research, upgrading monitoring and evaluation systems and engaging in the wider ocean science and policy community. We will also continue to invest in research to understand consumer demand for sustainable seafood and will deliver campaigns to build public awareness and support for sustainable fishing and the MSC’s ecolabel.


5. Enabling and Resourcing a High-Performing Global Organisation

We will focus our efforts on evolving, shaping and resourcing our increasingly global institution, to enable us to continue to support fisheries, supply chains and markets that are engaged in the MSC program.

“While there is no silver bullet, we know that credible market-based programs like the MSC can provide part of the solution, and I passionately believe we have an important part to play. To reflect the scale and urgency of the challenge, the MSC has set its own ambitious goals: to have 20% of the global wild fish catch engaged in the MSC program by 2020, and at least a third by 2030.”

Rupert Howes, Chief Executive

Marine Stewardship Council
Teeming with life

Teeming with life

A summary of the Marine Stewardship Council’s Strategic Plan, 2017-2020

Find out more

Reports and brochures

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.

Our collective impact

Our collective impact

For 20 over years fisheries, scientists, consumers and industry have been part of a collective effort to make sure our oceans are fished sustainably.

Our governance

Our governance

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.