Costs of certification and Funding — Marine Stewardship Council
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Costs of certification and Funding

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The cost of certification can vary depending on the complexity of the fishery, availability of information and the level of stakeholder involvement. MSC is not involved in setting the costs associated with assessment nor does it receive payment for assessments.

There are two main costs associated with engaging with the MSC  

  • Costs of improvements towards MSC

A pre-assessment may identify performance gaps in the fishery and improvements may need to be made prior to proceeding to a full assessment. Certified fisheries may need to implement actions to meet conditions of certification. Examples of improvements may include collecting data on catch or setting up harvest control rules. Making improvements often involves additional costs.

  • Costs of assessment and certification

Another cost is the costs of the independent assessment team that carries out the assessment.The best way to get an estimate of the costs for your fishery is to get in touch with different CABs and gather a range of quotes for likely costs of the assessment process. 

In the MSC’s Integrated Strategic Plan, the MSC has committed to working towards reducing the time, cost and complexity of the fishery assessment process. In 2013 -2014, the MSC carried out a Speed and Cost Review which identified various steps in the assessment process where efficiency could be improved. New Certification Requirements that incorporate these changes were released in October 2014 and will be effective from April 2015.

Maldives pole and line fishing boat

Funding Opportunities

There is a range of funding opportunities that fisheries can explore for support to cover the costs of engaging with the MSC. These include permanent grants which cover the costs of assessment and certification such as the Sustainable Fisheries Fund

Many fisheries have explored other avenues including government sources, development agencies and private sector funding to support costs of certification. Example of how some fisheries have met the costs of engaging with the MSC and other opportunities for funding have included:

  • New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) together with the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), has provided funding for two African fisheries to make improvements towards MSC
  • German retailer Kaufland ran an in-store campaign in 2011 and 2012 of which the proceeds were donated to an African fishery to support their assessment against the MSC standard.
  • The Maldives Pole and Line tuna fishery assessment and improvements were supported and financed by the Maldivian government.
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