Skip to main content

MSC appoints new director to lead US program

Headshot, Nicole Condon, Program Director, US, MSC

Eric Critchlow retiring following 48 year seafood industry career

July 28, 2022 – The Marine Stewardship Council today announced the appointment of Nicole Condon as Program Director to lead the US strategy and position MSC as a leader in the sustainable seafood movement. Condon will step into this role effective August 1.  

As US Program Director, Condon will oversee the fisheries, commercial, marketing and communications strategies to develop opportunities for growth in the US market, from certified fisheries to MSC labelled products. She brings with her a combined experience of almost 20 years in marine science, non-profit program management, and seafood sustainability. Condon joined the MSC in 2018 as a Senior Commercial Manager, overseeing engagement with MSC certified companies and market development along the supply chain in the Eastern US. She joined the MSC from World Wildlife Fund’s Global Seafood Markets team where she developed sustainable seafood strategies with global companies and built collaborative industry platforms in key markets around the world to create positive impacts for seafood, people, and nature.  

Condon takes over from Eric Critchlow who served in this role for the past six years. Eric is retiring following a 48-year career in the seafood industry covering everything from the dock to Executive positions. Under Eric’s leadership, the MSC has seen consistent engagement with US fisheries and growth in commercial partner commitments to sourcing MSC certified sustainable seafood.   

Erika Feller, Americas regional director, said: “Bringing Nicole on as US Program Director is the right move for the MSC because of her extensive knowledge and experience building strong partnerships with the seafood industry, and her ability to see the big picture when it comes to sustainability and healthy oceans. I am thrilled to be welcoming Nicole into this new role and to seeing continued growth of MSC certified sustainable seafood in the US. We are so grateful to Eric for all his contributions to the MSC over the last six years and send our absolute best wishes to him on his retirement.” 

“We’ve seen tremendous growth in the demand for more sustainable seafood options in the US market over the past few years,” said Condon. “I’m excited to work with our current and future partners to continue this momentum and elevate the MSC even further as a leader on sustainable seafood - ultimately driving measurable and impactful improvements in our global fisheries and supply chains.”  

The change in leadership comes at a time when approximately 35% of global fish stocks are overfished, as published in the recent 2022 UN FAO State of the World’s Fisheries and Aquaculture report. This prompted the UN FAO to call for a “Blue Transformation,” expanding the contribution of fish, seafood and seaweed to global food security and nutrition. Effective ecosystem-based fisheries management, ending overfishing, is one of three core pillars for delivering this transformation. The report recognizes the role of certification schemes such as that overseen by the MSC in contributing to this effort. MSC recently announced an ambitious commitment to work towards one third of global wild marine catch certified or engaged in its sustainable fishing program by 2030.  

Seafood consumers are also concerned. A 2022 GlobeScan survey showed 82% of US respondents expressing concern about the state of the ocean. But more seafood consumers than ever believe their choices can make a difference to the health of the ocean; the 2022 survey showed an increase (4%) from two years ago. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of U.S. consumers surveyed believe that people should eat seafood from sustainable sources, up from 55% compared with 2 years ago and a 7% increase from the last time the survey was run in early 2020.  

These challenges present opportunities for MSC to continue to be a powerful force for change as a market driven program. Continued work with scientists, fisheries managers, regional management bodies, NGOs, and the private sector is critical to see lasting change toward a blue transformation.