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The MSC approach means everyone can play a part in protecting the future of our oceans and fish stocks, while enjoying seafood, not avoiding it.

Our theory of change

The MSC encourages responsible fishery management and sustainable fishing practices to protect the future of fishing communities, preserve ocean ecosystems, and ensure seafood is available to everyone, always. 

When you buy a product with our blue fish label, you become part of a virtuous circle, helping to protect the productivity and health of our ocean.

Here's how it works:

Circular graphic showing six line drawings 1) fish 2) clipboard 3) MSC ecolabel 4) shopping cart 5) fish on a plate and 6) fishing boat
Fisheries volunteer to be assessed against the MSC Fishery Standard (1). The ones that meet the MSC Standard are independently certified as sustainable (2) and are eligible to sell their catch with the blue fish label (3).

Then, retailers and restaurants choose to source MSC certified sustainable seafood. A certified supply chain assures consumers that only seafood from an MSC certified fishery is sold with the blue MSC label.

Next, consumers preferentially purchase seafood with the blue MSC label (4), in creasing the market demand for MSC certified sustainable products (5). 

This leads to even more fisheries choosing to improve their practices and volunteer to be assessed to the MSC Standard (6).

Evidencing our Theory of Change

Research published in December 2021 provides evidence for our Theory of Change. The study shows that market-based incentives like the MSC’s have an important role to play in the sustainable seafood movement. It can deliver social and economic benefits to seafood industry partners, providing an incentive for environmental outcomes. 

Find out more

What is sustainable fishing?

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.

What does the MSC label mean?

What does the MSC label mean?

The blue fish label is only applied to wild fish or seafood from fisheries certified to the MSC standard, a scientific measure of sustainable fishing.