Press release

Damning report once again highlights perilous state of the world's fisheries - international environmental group endorses urgent action

September 4, 2009

Many fish stocks around the world are on the brink of collapse the International Commission for Exploration of the Sea (ICES) warned today.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) supports ICES’s recommendation of urgent action to address the issues of overfishing, adding that the MSC is one solution to the problem because it rewards sustainable fisheries with its eco-label seal of approval.

What the MSC says

The MSC’s Chief Executive Brendan May endorsed the ICES recommendations, saying, "Yet again scientists are sending out warning signals about the perilous state of the world's fish stocks. It is vital that their alarm bells are heard. Governments have a responsibility to millions of fishermen, to the environment and to consumers to take firm action once and for all to safeguard the world's greatest renewable food source and the millions of jobs it provides."

Mr May urged consumers to boost product labelling efforts by seeking out seafood bearing the MSC's internationally recognised eco-label. He said: "Where governments have failed, consumers can act. By buying MSC labelled products and putting pressure on governments to introduce more responsible policies, we can all ensure there continues to be seafood for future generations".

About the MSC

The MSC works with conservationists and industry to help reverse the damage to the world’s fish stocks. Its international sustainability label for seafood is growing in prominence in supermarkets around the world, providing consumers with the best environmental choice in seafood.

In addition to the ICES recommendations the MSC urges Governments to implement fisheries policies that will:

  • Reward sustainable fishing practices;
  • Encourage their fishing industries to engage positively in the ongoing development of independent voluntary certification
  • Seek, where appropriate, to establish national fisheries laws which are designed to encourage sustainability and enforced to this end
  • Promote common action among nations whose fisherpeople exploit a common resource.

Further information

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Key facts about MSC


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