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Global Impacts: a summary

MSC GlobaI Impacts Summary Report 2015 front cover Download the Global Impacts Summary report 2015 >

The objective of the MSC Global Impacts Report is to demonstrate the environmental and organisational impacts of the MSC’s certification and ecolabelling program.

The 2015 report is the third in the series and contains data up to the end of December 2014. It provides updated results for each of the MSC's 22 key performance indicators to demonstrate how the MSC's objectives are being achieved.  

Continued improvements

The first Global Impacts Report was launched in 2013 and demonstrated that almost all fisheries in the MSC program make significant improvements to their operations. The 2015 edition shows that this trend is continuing.

Key findings

  • Program update: At the end of 2014, a total of 231 fisheries were certified against the MSC Fisheries Standard with a further 88 in assessment. The number of Chain of Custody certificates increased from 2543 in 2013 to 2791 in 2014.
  • Geographic growth: The global reach of the MSC program continues to grow. MSC certified fisheries are now based in 35 countries; Chain of Custody certificates are now held by companies in 72 countries; and MSC ecolabelled products are now available in 97 countries.
  • Program accessibility: Nineteen fisheries have now met MSC certification in developing countries and 12 are in assessment. The MSC continues to promote its Benchmarking and Monitoring Tool (BMT) to help small scale and developing world fisheries meet the MSC Standard. 
  • Continual improvements: MSC certified fisheries are continuing to make significant improvements to their operations. Since 2000, 615 action plans for improvements have been completed by MSC certified fisheries, with a total of 1100 expected by 2020.
  • Consumer demand: Seafood consumers are increasingly able and willing to play their part in helping to safeguard fish resources for this and future generations. In 2014, approximately 40% of seafood consumers surveyed had purchased MSC products at least once or twice before, an increase of 11% since 2010. 
  • Global best practice: The proportion of fisheries in the MSC program that have stock status management at or above best practice has increased from 80% in 2009 to 95% in 2014. The remainder are certified as not adversely impacting stock biomass and are subject to time-bound improvement plans to attain best practice.

David Agnew "Our first report, published in 2013, demonstrated that almost all fisheries in the MSC program make significant improvements to their operations. Improvements are seen in target stock sustainability and management, as well as the impact of fisheries on non-target species and habitats. In total 231 fisheries, representing 10% of global wild capture, are currently certified. These fisheries are amongst the leaders in supplying sustainable seafood to consumers. The MSC provides a pathway to seafood sustainability, but does not implement the changes. Sustainability is delivered by the fishery with support from supply chains, retailers, environmental NGOs, funders, and governments."

Dr David Agnew, Standards Director

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