News and opinion

MSC to extend Fisheries Standard Review by six months

October 6, 2020

The MSC Board of Trustees has agreed to a six-month extension of the Fisheries Standard Review

The extension will allow for additional input from stakeholders to resolve issues currently under review. The MSC held stakeholder consultations between June and August 2020 on all projects with the potential to change what will be expected of fisheries by the MSC Fisheries Standard.

Despite the challenges presented by the global pandemic we engaged a record number of stakeholders through an online conference, workshops and surveys.

Input from stakeholders together with impact assessments, independent research and internal data analysis, is being used to develop policy options for each issue under review. Although the majority are on track to be resolved, consultations identified that some projects need further development before clear options can be proposed.

What is the Fisheries Standard Review?

The Fisheries Standard Review  occurs every five years, in line with the ISEAL Standard-Setting Code of Good Practice. Through the review, the MSC incorporates widely accepted new science and fisheries management best practice into the MSC Fisheries Standard. The review also aims to improve implementation of the Standard and address issues raised by stakeholders and the MSC’s own monitoring systems.

Potential revisions vary in scale and complexity and are being consider through 16 distinct projects. Some projects could change the requirements of the Standard, while others would only lead to changes in guidance.

How will the timeline change?

The MSC will hold public consultations in 2021 as planned, but delay public review of the final draft Standard until early 2022. This will enable us to gather and analyse additional stakeholder input and carry out robust impact assessments, thereby ensuring only the most effective policy options are taken forward.  

The extension will ensure the MSC complies with ISEAL requirements for a 60-day public review period on the final draft of the revised MSC Fisheries Standard. 

What are the next steps? 

The MSC will publish summary reports from the stakeholder consultations on the MSC website in October 2020. The reports will include a descriptive analysis of the consultations but will not contain details on policy direction. 

Further opportunities for stakeholder input will be announced early in 2021.  

Sign up to receive updates on the Fisheries Standard Review and details of consultation opportunities.
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