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Introduction to the MSC

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is a global nonprofit dedicated to ending overfishing around the world. It operates the world’s leading certification program for sustainable wild-caught seafood.

Working with scientists, fisheries, industry experts, and other nonprofits, the MSC maintains two globally recognized standards aimed at improving the way our ocean is fished and driving transparency in the supply chain:  the MSC Fisheries Standard and Chain of Custody Standard. The MSC program incentivizes sustainable fishing practices globally. 

Through its blue fish label, the MSC makes it easy for everyone to identify and choose certified sustainable, wild-caught seafood.

The need for sustainable seafood 

In 1997 the MSC was founded to address the growing global threat of overfishing, as a way to define sustainable fishing and incentivize fisheries to improve their practices and meet a globally recognized environmental standard.

Today, more than one-third (34%) of fish stocks are estimated to be overfished (UN FAO, 2020),  the global human population is set to reach 10 billion by 2050, and the demand for blue foods (foods from aquatic animals, plants or algae) is estimated to double by roughly that same time.  The need to harness our aquatic resources responsibly is more urgent than ever. Billions of people worldwide depend on seafood as their primary source of protein, and for their livelihoods.

Sustainable fishing plays a vital role in protecting our ocean, its biodiversity, and keeping our world fed. As such, the MSC exists to define, promote, and reward sustainable management of fisheries and transparency in the supply chain across the world.

Media Contacts

If you have any other questions about the MSC, sustainable fishing, or certified sustainable seafood, reach out to us and we can help connect you with the right person. Send a request.


Our Experts

Marin Hawk

Senior Fisheries Program Manager, Americas

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Dan Averill

Senior Fisheries Manager, US

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Kurtis Hayne

Program Director, Canada

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Nicole Condon

Program Director, USA

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Erika Feller

Regional Director, Americas

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The MSC in numbers


of marine wild catch is engaged with the MSC program (certified, in assessment, suspended, and in-transition)


fisheries engaged in the MSC program


of MSC certified fisheries have made improvements to their fishing practices

Track a Fishery

For the latest information on fisheries involved with the MSC program take a look at the MSC Track a Fishery website. There, you can sign up for bi-weekly newsletters for the latest certification news.

Map of North America with points highlighting certified fisheries



For MSC Canada and US program information, sign up for the MSC business newsletter.


Supporting Images

Download supporting images for your articles here.

Sample images on the MSC multimedia library


Find out more

The MSC Standards

The MSC Standards

The MSC Standards were developed, and continue to be updated, through consultation with the fishing industry, scientists, conservationists, experts, and stakeholders.

Our collective impact

Our collective impact

Research and science are fundamental to the work we do at the MSC. Our science and research collaborations help ensure our Standard development reflects the latest scientific understanding.

Consumer insights

Consumer insights

Concerns for our ocean are driving a new wave of consumer activism, new research from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) reveals. American shoppers are increasingly ‘voting with their forks’ for sustainable seafood.