Sustainable fisheries

Making sure there are enough fish in the sea to maintain healthy populations is a core principle of the MSC Fisheries Standard.

A certified fishery must show it targets fish populations that are healthy and productive. It’s a balancing act between how many they catch and how many they leave to breed for another season.

If fish numbers fall below sustainable limits, a certified fishery will adjust what they catch. If they don’t, their MSC certification can be suspended. A suspended fishery won’t be able to sell fish with the blue fish label until they have a management strategy that rebuilds the fish population.

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What does the MSC label mean? 1. Sustainable fish stocks


We continually monitor the MSC program to understand the impacts that our requirements are having on the environment and seafood market. Each year, we publish our findings in our Global Impacts Report.

Find out more about what it takes for a fishery to become MSC certified on our main website,

More about our collective impact

What is sustainable fishing option 3 - header SPOTLIGHT

What is sustainable fishing?

Sustainable fishing means leaving enough fish in the ocean, respecting habitats and ensuring people who depend on fishing can maintain their livelihoods.

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High angle shot of South African hake fisherman preparing equipment on fishing vessel

Fisheries improving

As well as fishing healthy populations, fisheries must show they are containing their impacts on habitats and other marine species.

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Global Impacts 2017

Our Global Impacts Report showcases the progress and improvements delivered by certified fisheries around the world.

Read the report
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