MSC Fisheries Standard — Marine Stewardship Council
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MSC Fisheries Standard

The MSC Fisheries Standard is designed to assess if a fishery is well-managed and sustainable. It has been developed in consultation with scientists, the fishing industry and conservation groups. It reflects the most up to date understanding of internationally accepted fisheries science and best practice management.

Certification to the MSC Fisheries Standard is voluntary. It is open to all fisheries involved in the wild-capture of marine or freshwater organisms. This includes most types of fish and shellfish, of any size, type or location.

Find out more about which fisheries are eligible to apply for MSC certification.

What is assessed?

There are three core principles that every fishery must meet:

MSC Fisheries Standard assessment tree showing three principles: 1. Sustainable fish stocks, 2. Minimising environmental impact, 3. Effective management

To determine if each principle is met, the MSC Fisheries Standard comprises 28 performance indicators. These are used by independent conformity assessment bodies to score the fishery.

Watch our video explaining the Fisheries Standard's principles and scoring >

How are fisheries assessed against the MSC standard?

In order to get certified, fishery clients will appoint an accredited conformity assessment body to assess their practices against the MSC standard.

The process involves a pre-assessment evaluation of the fishery, full assessment and further annual surveillance audit to assess compliance with the MSC Fisheries Standard.

Find out more on how to get certified >

How is the MSC standard reviewed and improved?

The standard is regularly maintained and reviewed to ensure accessibility, relevance and credibility.

Find out about the improvements we are making and how to get involved >

MSC Certification Requirements

During an assessment, the conformity assessment body uses the MSC Fisheries Certification Requirements. The requirements set out the process and methodology to assess whether a fishery meets the MSC Fisheries Standard

Find out about Certification Requirements >

See the full list of MSC Fisheries Standard documents >

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