Certification to the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) global standards for environmentally sustainable seafood was recognised at the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP-15) as a way to scientifically measure efforts to reverse alarming declines in the world’s biodiversity.
Data on MSC certified catch and supply chains are three of the official indicators in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework for two of the targets. The first target relates to the sustainable management and trade in wild species and the second relates to the integration of biodiversity values into economies. Complementary indicators can be used by governments to measure progress against those targets.
Credible country level action and measurement of outcomes will be key to ensuring the success of this new international agreement. Fisheries which meet the MSC’s Standard must maintain healthy fish populations, minimize bycatch and impacts on endangered, threatened and protected species, as well as the wider marine ecosystem.
Presence in the framework is a sign of the credibility of the MSC programme in helping to sustain biodiversity. Developed and negotiated by the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the new agreement aims to halt biodiversity loss by 2030, and achieve recovery by 2050.
Rupert Howes, Chief Executive of the MSC said: “We’re extremely proud that MSC certification has been recognised in the UN’s new Global Biodiversity Framework. The recognition speaks to the significant lengths that MSC certified fisheries go to understand their impact on the environment and ensure their sustainability, delivering improvements where needed – and the role of the supply chain in recognising and rewarding these efforts.
“This international agreement on biodiversity is a major achievement. The challenge will now be to ensure that the pledges are matched by real action. MSC certification provides businesses and governments throughout the world with a credible measure of their efforts to safeguard life in our ocean, while providing food and livelihoods to billions of people.”
The MSC program supports healthy marine ecosystems by incentivizing sustainable fishing practices. These efforts are recognized and rewarded by retailers’ and brands’ commitments to sell certified sustainable seafood with the blue MSC label, responding to increasing consumer awareness of the need for sustainable fishing.