The Marine Stewardship Council Fisheries Standard (Version 3.0), and other updates to key program documents, will drive improvements in sustainable fishing worldwide.
Implementing the new Standard
The new version of the MSC’s Fisheries Standard became operational on 1 May 2023.
The revised requirements apply to all fisheries seeking certification for the first time.
Fisheries that are already certified will have at least three years before they are required to begin the transition to the new version of the Standard. However, all existing certificate holders will need to complete reassessment or a transition assessment to Version 3.0 by 1 November 2028.
“The new MSC Fisheries Standard provides a global benchmark to drive forward real and lasting change in the way our oceans are fished by confidently recognising and incentivising fisheries that are world leaders in sustainability”
Updates to the Fisheries Certification Process
New and updated versions of the Fisheries Certification Process (FCP) are also in effect. Auditors must use FCP Version 3.0 when assessing fisheries against Version 3.0 of the Standard. FCP Version 2.3 must be used during assessments against Version 2.01 of the Standard.
Expanding the In-Transition to MSC program
More fisheries will be eligible to take part in our In-Transition to MSC program, following an expansion of the entry criteria. Fisheries of all sizes and locations can now apply if they have an MSC assessment report and improvement action plan that meet the MSC’s updated requirements.
Fisheries that have been suspended from the MSC program within the past three years can also apply to join the program. This will incentivise fisheries to remain engaged with the MSC program and make the improvements needed to meet the Standard requirements once again.
Labour Eligibility Requirements
Our new Labour Eligibility Requirements document is also now in effect. This consolidates all labour requirements from across the Fisheries and Chain of Custody Standards into a single document.
While labour requirements for fisheries have not changed, requirements for Chain of Custody certification have been extended to all certificate holders that pack, process and/or manually off-load certified products, regardless of location.