Consultation on Review of the Fisheries Standard

Stakeholders are at the heart of our Fisheries Standard Review, helping identify issues, develop solutions and test the possible impacts of any proposed changes.

New MSC Fisheries Standard approved

In June 2022, the MSC Board of Trustees approved the new  MSC Fisheries Standard (version 3.0). 

This decision followed the most comprehensive review of the MSC Fisheries Standard ever undertaken in the 25-year history of the MSC. 

Our new Standard includes significant improvements, including better protections for marine life, as well as stronger fisheries management and compliance requirements. These improvements will ensure that MSC certified fisheries continue to be recognised as world leaders in sustainability

Read our recent Board statement to find out more.    

Public review of the proposed MSC Fisheries Standard

We held a 60-day public review of the draft MSC Fisheries Standard in early 2022. 

Stakeholders were able to provide feedback on the proposed Standard and associated program documents through an online survey. 

The public review was the final opportunity for stakeholders to provide input into the development of the new Standard. 

Feedback from the public review

All feedback received through the survey has been compiled into a summary report. The report contains background information on the topics consulted on, participation data and anonymised feedback tables.

Read the summary report from the 60-day public review here.

Feedback from the public review was analysed and incorporated into our proposals where appropriate, alongside findings from further impact assessments and pilot tests. This will help us ensure the new Standard is clear and delivers the intent of our program.  

    Find out more about the different topics of the review and access impact assessments, consultancy reports and summary reports from previous stakeholder consultations. 

    Please note we are continuing to work on the following two topics, which are not included in the proposed Standard documents:

    We expect to share outcomes for these topics in 2023.  


    Next steps

    We intend to publish the new MSC Fisheries Standard (version 3.0) in October 2022.

    Implementation timeframes

    Fisheries seeking certification for the first time will need to adhere to the new Standard from May 2023.  

    We have introduced a new policy that requires all certificate holders to have completed reassessment to the MSC Fisheries Standard version 3.0 within six years of it being published (October 2028). 

    Certified fisheries will still have at least three years before they are required to begin the transition to the new Standard. This is in compliance with the UN FAO Best Practice Guidelines for Ecolabelling.     

    Please note, the publication date of version 3.0 (and therefore the effective date, and deadline for recertification) may be subject to change.

    Sign up to our mailing list to receive updates about the roll out of the new Standard.  


    Developing the Standard

    The MSC Fisheries Standard Review began in 2018 and since then we have collected and analysed a wealth of information from different sources to help us develop solutions, including:

    • Conducting our own research
    • Reviewing research carried out by independent scientists 
    • Speaking directly with experts 
    • Soliciting advice from our governance bodies 
    • Testing proposed revisions in mock assessments to ensure the proposed changes deliver MSC’s intent, are feasible and can be audited properly. 

    We held public consultations, with more stakeholders than ever before contributing to the development of the revised Standard. Throughout 2020 and 2021, nearly 200 stakeholders participated in public consultation workshops, and we received over 450 responses to surveys. 

    We also engaged with our stakeholders through online webinars and conferences, which were attended by over 1300 participants.  

    Watch our webinars 

    In February 2022 we held two webinars to discuss the proposed changes to the MSC Fisheries Standard

    Each webinar focused on different key topics in the review and included a question-and-answer session with members of the MSC Fisheries team. 

    YouTube

    Watch video

    1. Preventing shark finning, harvest strategies & evidence requirements

    1:01:17

    YouTube

    Watch video

    2. Endangered, threatened & protected species, ghost gear & efficiencies

    1:02:55

    The Fisheries Standard Review (home)

    The Fisheries Standard Review (home)

    The MSC regularly carries out a formal review of the MSC Fisheries Standard to make sure our assessment and certification system remains the leading measure of fisheries sustainability.

    Find out more
    Previous consultation and engagement

    Previous consultation and engagement

    Fisheries Standard Review progress updates and consultation summary reports from 2021.

    Find out more
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