MSC Stakeholder Council — Marine Stewardship Council
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MSC Stakeholder Council

The MSC Stakeholder Council was created by the MSC’s Board of Trustees to provide the MSC Board with advice, views, guidance and recommendations from a variety of informed perspectives about the operations of the MSC in pursuit of its mission. The Council’s members reflect diverse experiences, geographies and interests in relation to the work of the MSC. The Stakeholder Council meets at least once per year. 

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

Members of the MSC Stakeholder Council >

What does the Stakeholder Council do?

The main functions of the Stakeholder Council are to:  

  • Provide strategic and tactical advice on other functions of the organisation, including where appropriate, the commercial, development, outreach and communications programs.
  • Provide 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 to the MSC for consideration that may affect the MSC’s ability to achieve its mission.
  • Address and give views on specific matters on which the Board of Trustees requests advice.    

The Stakeholder Council submits its views to the MSC Board, who consider this input when making decisions.

How is the MSC Stakeholder Council organised?

There are two "chambers" within the Stakeholder Council, each with up to 20 members.

  • The Commercial Chamber is made up of interests from the catch, processing, supply, retail, food service sectors and other relevant commercial interests.
  • The Public Interest Chamber is made up of interests from academia, science, management, the marine conservation community and other relevant public interests.

Each chamber nominates and appoints its own new members as needed. Members serve a 3-year term and may stand for reappointment.

The Stakeholder Council has two Co-Chairs, one from each of the two chambers. Co-Chairs serve 2-year terms, and these are arranged so that one co-chair is elected annually. Each Co-chairs serves, ex-officio, on the MSC Board. 

Stakeholder Council Steering Group

The Stakeholder Council has a Steering Group that consists of 10 members of the Council, plus the 2 co-chairs. 5 members are nominated and selected from each chamber.

Members of the MSC Stakeholder Council Steering Group >

The Steering Group meets as needed, typically 4-6 times a year.

Its main activities are:

  • Consult with full Stakeholder Council as needed between full meetings of the Council to develop strategic and policy advice on behalf of the Stakeholder Council. 
  • Meet regularly to consider MSC matters that may be of interest to the Stakeholder Council.
  • Systematically communicate with and engage members of the Stakeholder Council to ensure their active involvement in the MSC’s program of work.
  • Develop priorities and a plan of work for the Stakeholder Council on an annual basis.
  • Lead the preparation of annual meetings and other meetings and engagement throughout the year.

MSC Developing World Working Group

The Developing World Working Group (DWWG) is a committee of the Stakeholder Council that provides advice to the MSC on the challenges and solutions to overfishing in the developing world. 

It was established by the MSC in 2007 to help increase accessibility of the MSC program. The group comprises of stakeholders representing 11 countries from developing regions who have an interest in sustainable fisheries.

June 2017: Evolution of MSC’s Stakeholder Council

Following an independent governance review, in June 2017, the MSC Board of Trustees agreed changes to the MSC’s Stakeholder Council.  The planned new Stakeholder Advisory Council will continue to provide critical stakeholder perspectives and advice to the Technical Advisory Board and the Board.

Members of the soon-to-be constituted Advisory Council will play a key role in the new working groups and in review of the fisheries certification process and Standard.  It will comprise 17 members including representatives from the seafood industry, conservation community, market sector and academia. Appointments to the Council will be made by the Board in later July 2017. The Stakeholder Advisory Council will ensure that input into the MSC’s review processes is representative of a wide range of views and opinions.

Read the statement from the MSC Board >

Further information

Please email Richard Ryan, MSC Governance Secretary for further information on the MSC Stakeholder Council.

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