Text reads: Good for you and the ocean too; MSC label with lockup "Certified Sustainable Seafood"

The MSC is a global, science-based nonprofit dedicated to ending overfishing worldwide. Check for the MSC blue fish to find certified sustainable, wild-caught seafood that's good for you and the ocean too.

HOT Cookbook Homepage Image
American flag with text Canadian Flag with text
person holding up cell phone with MSC blue fish guide on screen in front of fish counter

The MSC Blue Fish Guide to Sustainable Seafood

The MSC blue fish label is an easy way for consumers to identify wild-caught, certified sustainable seafood at grocery stores, in restaurants, and beyond. Learn how our ecolabelling program is working to end overfishing worldwide and safeguard our ocean for generations to come.

Explore the Guide
person holding MSC certified smoked salmon

The Rise of the Conscious Consumer

Recent research reveals that concerns for our ocean are driving a new wave of consumer activism. North American shoppers are increasingly ‘voting with their forks’ for sustainable seafood.

View 2020 Report

Welcome to the North American website of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). For over 20 years, the MSC has been committed to protecting the last major food resource that is truly wild: seafood.

The MSC works with fisheries, retailers, restaurants, and other companies to change the way that the ocean is fished, address and combat seafood fraud, and make it easier than ever for consumers to identify and purchase wild-caught seafood that is sustainable and traceable through the supply chain.

Our Vision

is one in which the world's one shared ocean is teeming with life and seafood supplies are safeguarded for this and future generations. 


Our Mission

is to use our ecolabel and fishery certification program to contribute to recognize and reward sustainable fishing practices. We aim to contribute to the overall health of the ocean by influencing the choices people make when buying seafood with our MSC blue fish label. We working closely with our amazing partners who are transforming the seafood industry daily until sustainability becomes the status quo.


Our Work

The MSC Fishing Standard

To achieve MSC certification, a fishery must voluntarily enter the assessment program. The fishery will be assessed by an independent third-party against three core principles of sustainability:

  • Principle 1: The fish population remains productive and healthy indefinitely
  • Principle 2: Impacts on the marine environment and other species are carefully managed
  • Principle 3: The fishery is managed effectively and complies with relevant laws

Fisheries undergo yearly audits to examine any significant changes that may have occurred in the physical environment or with the management of the fishery. Once issued, an MSC certification is valid for 5 years, at the end of which the fishery is reassessed for certification. The standard itself also is reviewed by a collection of scientists, fisheries, NGOs, and other relevant stakeholders every five years to keep up with best practice.

Learn more about the MSC Fisheries Standard >>


The MSC Chain of Custody (CoC) Standard

In order to use our MSC blue fish label on seafood products, every company within that supply chain must have a valid Chain of Custody (CoC) certificate. Again, the company will be assessed by an independent third-party against five key certification principles:

  • Principle 1: Companies must purchase certified product from a certified supplier
  • Principle 2: Certified products are clearly identifiable,
  • Principle 3: Certified products remain separated from non-certified to allow for easier identification.
  • Principle 4: Certified products are traceable within the supply chain and volume of product is recorded.
  • Principle 5: Companies are managed in a way that adheres to the requirements of the Standard.


The CoC standard was last updated in 2019 and consists of one default version, along with Group and Consumer-Facing Organization (CFO) versions. This standard is reviewed every three years to keep up with best practice.

Learn more about the MSC Chain of Custody Standard >>


The MSC Blue Fish Ecolabel Program

The MSC blue fish ecolabel is an easy way for consumers to identify wild-caught, traceable, and certified sustainable seafood at their grocery store, restaurant, and beyond. This label represents the strictest guidelines for sustainable fishing. Translation: you can purchase the seafood knowing that you're supporting sustainable fisheries and healthy oceans.

The label is only found on wild-caught seafood, but you can look for the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) logo on responsibly farmed seafood for the same level of sustainability assurance.

Learn more about the MSC blue fish >>


Our Impact

For more than 20 years, the MSC, scientists, partners, and consumers have all contributed to a common goal: end overfishing worldwide and promote sustainable fishing practices. More than 370 fisheries around the world are currently certified against the MSC Fishery Standard - a figure that accounts for about 15% of global fish catch.

A fishery doesn't stop improving once it received certification; in fact, many strive to continue to improve their fishing practices and become more sustainable. To date, 92% of certified fisheries within the MSC program have improved at least (1) aspect of their practices to become more sustainable.

The MSC also has an Ocean Stewardship Fund, a program that aims to increase the number of sustainable fisheries worldwide. This funding supports innovative research and fisheries at all stages on the path to sustainability. Each year, well over $1.3M in grants are available to fisheries, scientists, NGOs, and postgraduates. 

Did you know? Every time you purchase an item with the MSC blue fish label, a portion of the proceeds goes to supporting our OSF.


What makes the MSC different from other sustainability measures?

Each time you see the MSC blue fish logo, it represents a product that came from a fishery assessed by independent experts and found to be sustainable. We have the strictest set of standards and a rigorous scientific process that backs sustainability claims. Our work also helps to combat seafood fraud; in fact, DNA testing has shown that mislabeling rates for MSC labeled seafood clock in at less than 1%. In contrast, that rate is about 30% for all fish and seafood globally.

Read more on how on how our program compares >>
  • '{{item.Image.Title}}', {{item.Image.Artist}}, {{item.Image.Description}}