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EU Our Ocean 2017 MSC commitment: 20% by 2020

At the Our Ocean 2017 conference the Marine Stewardship Council announced its commitment to engage 20% of global marine catch in its program by 2020, supporting productivity and resilience in globally important marine ecosystems. With this commitment, MSC contributes to global efforts to improve fisheries management and ensures the sustainable use of our oceans, improving food security and livelihoods well into the future. To incentivize an acceleration of improvements within the timeframe of the SDG goals, the MSC’s ambition, more specifically, for the period up to 2020 is to:

  • Expand the number of key Large Marine Ecosystems in which more than 20% of the marine catch is MSC certified

  • Grow the number of key commercial species for which 20% of the global catch is MSC certified

  • Significantly increase the number of fisheries engaged in the MSC program in the Global South

The 2020 Leaders for a Living Ocean

Accelerating and Recognizing Corporate Leadership in Sustainable Seafood

The Leaders for a Living Ocean are a group of corporate leaders who have announced commitments contributing to the MSC’s “20 by 2020” goal. They are acting in support of the UN SDGs and science-based solutions to accelerate improvements in marine fisheries. They represent 27 leading companies and organisations in the seafood supply chain, representing catch sector (5), retail (14), seafood businesses / brands (6) and restaurants (2). The MSC is supporting these leaders in their journey to transform their business and act as agents for change within their sphere of influence.

Commitments (in alphabetical order):

Alibaba Group /TMall (China / Online)

Tmall Fresh commits to develop a sustainable seafood procurement policy and work with MSC towards the goal of sourcing a minimum of 20% of its wild caught seafood sold on Tmall Supermarket and Mr. Fresh from certified sustainable sources by 2020.

Aeon Group (Japan / retail)

Aeon is committed to ensuring that by 2020, 20% of all seafood products sold at retailers within the AEON Group will be either MSC or ASC certified, and to making sure that all general merchandise stores and supermarkets consolidated under AEON Co., Ltd. will acquire MSC Chain of Custody (CoC) certification, with the exception of small-scale shops with no in-shop processing and packaging.

Aldi Group (International / retail)

ALDI SOUTH and ALDI North are making the commitment for all raw materials used for fish and seafood products within our range of fresh/frozen core and seasonal items in Germany to be MSC-certified by the end of 2017. Furthermore, in terms of global operations, ALDI SOUTH and ALDI North are both committed to increasing the share of products sourced from MSC-certified and responsibly managed fisheries.

For more information on ALDI's approach to sustainable fish and its commitments, please visit the respective national websites: ALDI North and ALDI SOUTH.

Ahold Delhaize Group (International / retail)

Ahold Delhaize’s seafood policy focuses on increasing the percentage of our own brand seafood products that are credibly certified – thereby contributing to MSC’s “20 by 2020” commitment.

Albert Heijn (Netherlands and Belgium / retail)

Albert Heijn wants all fish products under its own brand to be fully sustainably certified as soon as possible. For this objective we aim to achieve MSC certification, but when such certified products are not available for a certain fish species, we also use other credible certification schemes. For our private label / own brand fresh and frozen wild caught fish, Albert Heijn is committed to working with its suppliers and the fishing sector to close the last few remaining gaps and to make all wild catch products available as MSC certified by 2020. An example of this is our work with partners to get brown shrimp MSC certified.


Carrefour has set a global target to sell one fish out of two from sustainable sources by 2020. To fulfill this commitment, Carrefour is working with its suppliers to select fish from healthy stocks, promote more selective catching methods, develop sustainable aquaculture by reducing antibiotics and using non GMO feed, and fighting illegal fishing. The MSC is one of the tools we use to achieve this target. Today already more than 60 Carrefour brand products are MSC certified through our different shelves. It is by working collectively with governments, fishermen, suppliers, retailers, consumers and NGOs, that we can achieve market transformation towards sustainability and ensure the access to marine diversity to all our clients.

Coles (Australia / retail)

Coles recognises that well-managed and responsible fishing is essential for the future sustainability of our marine ecosystems, and has made the commitment to only sell responsibly sourced Coles Brand seafood. Coles has undertaken independent assessments of hundreds of wild and farmed seafood products to meet robust Coles Brand responsible sourcing requirements. This means Coles has looked at the impact on the environment, along with how and where the seafood is caught, to help maintain healthy fish populations and habitats. Coles will continue to work with organisations like the MSC, to give its customers confidence to help make a better choice for our oceans.

Colruyt Group (Belgium / retail)

Colruyt Group is committed to sourcing 100% of the ‘wild fish’ used in our 125 own brand products in accordance with these sustainability criteria: exclusion of IUU fisheries; from healthy populations; sustainable fishing methods (with minimal impact and bycatch); from fisheries with strong management and traceability. We source from MSC-certified fisheries. If species cannot be MSC-certified, we use other independent assessments. Our frozen and fresh fish comply 100% with our sustainability criteria and 85% of our products are already MSC-certified. We’re aiming for 90% by 2020. The rest are assessed by the Belgian scientific institute, ILVO. Our canned tuna will be 100% compliant with our criteria by the end of 2019 and we are introducing MSC-certified albacore and skipjack. The other 14 canned own brand products will be 75% MSC-certified by the end of 2018. We’re aiming for 100% by 2020.

Danish Fishery Producer Organisations [Denmark / catch sector)

The Danish Fishery Producer Organisations (Danish Fishermen’s Producer Organisation and Danish Pelagic Producer Organisation) represent all Danish commercial fishermen and virtually all catches. The Danish ambition for sustainable fisheries and MSC certification is not new, and its original commitment in 2010 has been instrumental in leading the European and the global seafood industry onto a more sustainable footing. The Danish sector had two major breakthroughs in 2016 in obtaining MSC certification for the North Sea Cod fishery and the fishery for industrial species, sandeel, sprat and Norway pout. With these certifications the Danish fishing industry now has more than 90% of all fisheries MSC certified. The Danish Producer Organisations work with all key Danish stakeholders in driving improvements in and on the water, and this commitment to sustainable fishing and MSC certification comes at a time where some of the world’s oceans are under pressure. The Danish Fisheries sector’s drive towards obtaining MSC certification for all its fisheries shows the sector’s dedication to a sustainable future for the seas and oceans that surround us. 

El Corte Inglés (Spain / retail)

El Corte Inglés adopted a Sustainable and Responsible Purchasing Policy for Seafood in 2011 which aims to contribute to sustainability and protection of marine species, at the same time as ensuring consumer demand can be met and support the continuity of all the fishing related industries.In the framework of this policy, El Corte Inglés’ 2020 commitment is to increase gradually the volume and sales of MSC labeled products on offer in their stores by prioritizing MSC certified sustainable seafood in their fresh fish counters in Spain and Portugal (starting with 100% of cod) and by introducing as many as MSC certified labeled own brand products as possible.Additionally, El Corte Inglés aims to promote and strongly communicate the added value of products from certified sustainable fisheries together with suppliers and also commits to develop a multistakeholder dialogue with consumers, industry, scientists and organizations to work towards reaching 100% of sustainable fish sources.

Eroski (Spain / retail)

EROSKI is committed to prioritizing MSC certified sustainable seafood in their fresh fish counter, with the goal to reach 700 wet counters with chain of custody certification and 1800 MT of MSC labelled fish in 2020. Certifying EROSKI fishmongers represents an important leap forward in the implementation of our Sustainable Fishing Policy which is committed to marketing fresh fish from fisheries that have the most environmentally-friendly approach to the marine ecosystem, the use sustainable fishing techniques and transparent labelling and communication with consumers. The first MSC certified species introduced have been albacore, anchovy and cod. Eroski is working in collaboration with suppliers for the introduction of Canadian lobster, Icelandic cod, razor clam, NL sole, Basque Country sardine and surimi products among others. In tuna, Eroski expects to reach 10% of the volume of all canned tuna traded at our stores sourced from Pole & Line, MSC, Comprehensive FIP, APR or FAD-free. For 2018 our aim is to reach 20%  and for 2019 the 30%.

FishTales (Netherlands / seafood brand)

FishTales connects consumers of fresh and conserved fish to sustainable fisheries, and to the daring fishermen who go out to sea for the best catches. FishTales is fully committed to helping to deliver Sustainable Development Goal 14 by having 95% of its entire wild catch assortment MSC certified by 2020. FishTales currently has 90% of its SKU’s MSC certified (100% of retail products, 80% of Out of Home products).

IKEA (International / retail and foodservice)

IKEA committed to source all fish and seafood from responsible and sustainable sources by September 2015, from fisheries certified to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standards and farms certified to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standards. In doing this, IKEA brought responsibly and sustainably sourced fish and seafood to several countries that had never before used the MSC or ASC label. Today, IKEA offers certified fish and seafood in over 400 IKEA stores in 49 countries. Every year about 650 million people enjoy the IKEA food offer. IKEA has largely achieved its goal towards 100% certified fish and seafood – few smaller markets facing limited availability or complex import restrictions and crayfish are remaining exceptions. The certification of crayfish is not yet possible. IKEA remains committed and welcomes positive development in the seafood and fishery industry towards MSC certification for a more sustainable future of our oceans.

ISF Icelandic Sustainable Fisheries (Iceland / catch sector & supply chain sector)

Iceland Sustainable Fisheries (ISF) is an open membership organization with about 50 members of the leading Icelandic seafood companies. The ISF and its members in 2012 jointly embarked on an ambitious project to obtain MSC certification for all commercial Icelandic fisheries. The project is now starting to deliver impressive results, and ISF and its members, have engaged majority of commercially harvested species in Iceland in the MSC program. Currently, the proportion of landed catch from MSC certified fisheries is at approximately 65-70%.  The plan is to have 100% of commercial catches MSC certified within a few years. Large quantity species are now at the end of the assessment process, such as blue whiting and mackerel and low quantity but high value species are nearing the end of the assessment process, which are anglerfish and Greenland halibut. It is valuable for the Icelandic seafood industry to be assessed against the robust international standard and we can present our performance to the international market. It is important to improve.

Isidro 1952, S.L. (Spain / seafood brand)

Isidro 1952, SL is a Spanish company based in Galicia which specialises in value added and convenience fish products for human consumption. Sea is our essence and way of life, and therefore our commitment to sustainable fishing has been a fact since our beginning. Our objectives for 2020 in terms of sustainability are:

Increase the commercialization of products with sustainable species with MSC certification by 10% of current sales in volume.

Include Sustainability as a key element in our Communication strategy towards end users to promote responsible consumption

Actively participate in all promotional and advertising campaigns organized by MSC and other recognized organizations, with the aim to make consumers aware of the importance of sustainability.

Contribute to the introduction in the Spanish Market of new commercial species with globally recognized sustainable certifications.

Japanese Consumers' Co-operative Union (Japan / retail)

15% of COOP’s private label seafood products (by value) already carry the blue MSC label. COOP intends to boost the range of MSC products available to COOP members by 2020. To this end, COOP is working with its domestic and overseas suppliers to help them acquire certification. At the same time, COOP is stepping up efforts to improve communication with its member consumers to raise awareness towards the MSC program.

JUMBO (Netherlands / retail)

Jumbo is the second largest supermarket organization in The Netherlands (580 stores, 3 Food Markets, Online Store, 350 Pick up Points and home delivery). As a family business, Jumbo believes it is important to consider the world around it. Our starting point is that products should be produced with attention to the wellbeing of humans, animals and the environment. Improvements should be feasible and affordable. Feasible for the producer and affordable for the customer. MSC and ASC certification can ensure this. In 2020, we aim to only sell seafood - fresh and processed - from a 100% traceable chain. Importantly, this assurance is provided by independent parties. Ecolabels such as MSC and ASC provide this assurance. For seafood species for which MSC or ASC certification is not available, we will participate in improvement programmes with the aim of achieving MSC or ASC certification within 5 years. Issues such as a living wage and animal welfare will of course also be taken into account. In addition, the supermarket chain is further improving its product information system, tracing products back to ship or pond level.

Kroger (USA / retail)

Offering sustainable wild-caught and farm-raised seafood is important to our customers and Kroger. In 2016, Kroger expanded work with leading organizations like the Marine Stewardship Council and World Wildlife Fund and key seafood sustainability goals. By 2020, Kroger will source 100% of its wild-caught seafood from fisheries that are MSC certified, in MSC full assessment, in comprehensive Fishery Improvement Projects, or certified by other GSSI‐recognized programs. Kroger will preferentially source MSC-certified wild-caught seafood and, by 2020, Kroger will source at least 90% of its volume from fisheries that are MSC certified. Kroger is also committed to continue sourcing 100% of shelf-stable tuna from ISSF-participating companies. By 2020, all Our Brands canned tuna will state the tuna is sourced from ISSF-participating companies. For farmed species in Our Brands products, we will source 100% in accordance with the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s BAP Four-Star certification by 2020. Kroger reports progress annually at

Mars Petcare (International petfood brands)

Seafood is an important part of the diet of many pets and people worldwide.  In our “Sustainable in a Generation” Plan, we have committed to sustainable practices for sourcing this valuable resource so that we can continue to offer products that contain fish for future generations. In 2016, 43% of our fish and seafood ingredients were sustainably sourced. Our ambition is to sustainably source 100% of our fish and seafood ingredients by 2020. We use our 4R strategy to reduce, replace, reassure and respect. We commit to reduce our use of whole fish and fillets; replace ingredients in our products derived from vulnerable fish species; reassure stakeholders by achieving third-party certification for sustainable sourced ingredients; and we seek to ensure that human rights are respected in our fish supply chains around the world initially focussing on Thailand. We recognize that solutions and impact at scale require collaboration. We build partnerships such as those with MSC and ASC, to find and scale breakthrough solutions to sustainable growth. Our “Sustainable in a Generation” Plan is accelerating our efforts to ensure that today’s generation, and tomorrow’s, will thrive and the planet will, too.

McDonald's (International / foodservice)

Sustainable fish sourcing is part of McDonald’s broader sustainability strategy. We’re proud to note that globally 100% of the whitefish for our Filet-O-Fish is sourced from sustainably managed fisheries. Additionally, McDonald’s has achieved Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification in North America, Europe and Brazil, helping to further MSC’s ambitious 2020 commitment for globally resilient and productive marine ecosystems.

Nomad Foods (International / seafood brands)

Since becoming a founding member of the MSC in 1997, our commitment to continuously increase the amount of MSC certified fish that we source for our Iglo, Birds Eye and Findus products has led to quantifiable results. Today more than 90% of the wild captured fish we use is MSC certified and we are by far the largest user of the MSC Ecolabel globally. As Europe’s largest frozen food company, our goal is to help consumers make healthy and nutritious food choices by increasing the consumption of fish across Europe. Our long term relationship with the MSC means that, as we achieve our ambitions, we will naturally increase the volume of MSC certified fish eaten by consumers over the next three years. We are proud to support the principles of UN SDG 14 and to play a role in delivering the MSC’s vision to provide consumers with sustainably sourced fish.

ORKLA Foods Sverige AB (Sweden)

100% MSC by 2020 – this is the commitment from Orkla Foods Sverige. All marine resources sourced by Orkla Foods Sverige must be fished in accordance with the following principles.

Species and fish stocks should not be noted on the IUCN's list as endangered.

No overfishing, illegal, unreported or unregulated fishing

Full traceability

Sustainable fishing methods

Respect for human and workers’ rights.

Orkla Foods Sverige has successfully reached 90% of their goal. Today 110 out of 123 products under our eight marine brands; Abba, Kalles, Limfjord among other, are MSC certified. We will as far as possible use MSC to secure the whole value chain and help consumers make sustainable choices. If species cannot be MSC-certified, we will use other independent assessments, supervised by our Orkla Marine Expert.

Parlevliet & Van der Plas (International catch sector)

As a member of the fishermen’s association the Pelagic-Freezer trawler Association, the P & P Group has taken the lead to certify the fisheries in which it is involved against the MSC criteria. The first fishery to be awarded with the MSC label was the herring fishery in the North Sea, in 2006. Then followed other pelagic and demersal fisheries in the Northeastern part of the Atlantic Ocean.  P & P Group strives to ensure that the following fisheries in which vessels of the P & P Group operate are certified against the MSC standard: (1) The fishery on Greenland halibut east of Greenland; (2) The fishery on Greenland halibut west of Greenland; (3) The tuna fisheries in the Indian and Atlantic Ocean; (4) The fishery on seabob shrimp in Guyana.

PNA (International / catch sector – tuna)

By 2020, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), 8 small island nations whose waters produce close to 60% of all skipjack tuna catches in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) and who collectively control approximately 30% of the world's tuna supply, commits to:
ensure 100% of the drifting FADs within its ocean jurisdiction will be tracked and registered in order to strengthen the conservation and sustainable management of the ecosystem; two-thirds of the free school skipjack tuna catch in PNA waters, representing approximately 400,000 MT, to be MSC certified and Pacifical Co branded; and through promoting the adoption of harvest control rules for WCPO skipjack in the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), the PNA aims to see that not  more than 50% of the unfished skipjack population is harvested annually and by committing to enhance its management efficiency and transparency, will continue to maintain its status as one of the healthiest tuna stocks globally.

Sainsbury’s (UK retail)

All the fish Sainsbury’s sells will be independently certified as sustainable by 2020.

Thai Union (International seafood brand)

Thai Union’s commitment is for all of our tuna to be sustainably sourced, with an aim to achieve a minimum of 75% of our own brands of tuna coming from fisheries that are Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified or are in a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) by the end of 2020. Thai Union will invest US$90 million in initiatives, including establishing new FIPs, that bring together stakeholders to identify environmental challenges in a fishery, develop a plan to address them, and work together to implement the plan.

Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (Australia catch sector)

The Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, in partnership with the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) and with support from the State Government, has embarked on a program which will provide the opportunity for all the State’s commercial fisheries to achieve MSC certification.