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.

We are holding a series of consultations throughout 2020 and 2021 for stakeholders to take part in the development of the Fisheries Standard. Stakeholders will be able to review the revised Standard in 2022. 

Sign up to our Fisheries Standard Review update to be notified of upcoming consultation activities and developments. 

About the consultation period

The focus in 2020 and 2021 will be on agreeing what the Standard is trying to achieve in any specific area where changes could be made and to develop policy options for each issue under review.

If a revised Standard is proposed, the focus in 2022 will be on reviewing the new document.

Consultation events

Currently there are no open consultation activities. 

Between June and August 2020, we held eleven virtual consultation workshops and four surveys to seek stakeholder input into the projects that are likely to deliver changes to the intent or high impact changes to the Fisheries Standard requirements. All Fisheries Standard Review projects will have at least one public consultation before the review is completed. 

Overall, the workshops were attended by 190 stakeholders from a range of sectors and regions. We also received 278 responses from stakeholders who participated in consultation surveys.

To be notified of future activities and developments, sign up to our Fisheries Standard Review update.

Consultation summary reports

We have published consultation summary reports for each project. The report will contain an overview of the topics discussed at the workshop and descriptive analyses of the participating stakeholder groups. Reports will also contain a transcript of the workshop discussions and feedback from surveys with individual names, organisations and any defamatory or commercially sensitive material redacted.

The 2020 consultations focused on the following projects and you can view a summary report from each:

Reviewing Principle 1 with a focus on harvest strategies

Clarifying best practice for reducing impacts on endangered, threatened and protected (ETP) species 

Supporting the prevention of gear loss and ghost fishing 

Ensuring effective fisheries management systems are in place

Identifying further solutions to ensure MSC certified fisheries are not involved in shark finning

Ensuring habitat performance indicators are clear and consistently applied 

Making the MSC Fisheries Standard more efficient 

Next steps

We are currently reviewing all feedback received from the consultation survey as well as independent research and our own internal data analysis. This will inform our decisions on proposed changes to the MSC Fisheries Standard.

We will carry out an impact assessment on the proposed changes considering, among other things, the feasibility for fisheries to make the changes and the impact on the accessibility of the MSC program to existing and prospective fisheries. We will also seek the advice of our governance bodies on the proposed changes. 

In making changes to the MSC Fisheries Standard, we need to consider the following: 

We will engage with stakeholders in early 2021 to share any potential changes to the Standard and explain how we developed these changes. We will hold further consultations in 2021 and the revised Standard will be publicly reviewed in early 2022 to ensure changes are clear and that the new Standard delivers the intentions of our program.

To be notified of future activities and developments, sign up to our Fisheries Standard Review update.  

Fisheries Standard Review Consultation Launch

Virtual conference

In May 2020, we held a virtual conference for the Fisheries Standard Review Consultation Launch.

The MSC's Chief Science and Standards Officer, Dr Rohan Currey, outlined the current Fisheries Standard Review and answered questions on all areas under consideration for revision. 

Project leads from Science and Standards also discussed the key issues under review in each of the three Principles of the MSC Fisheries Standard. Each talk was followed by a live Question and Answer session.

View our virtual conference on demand


Shoal of fish underwater with coral in foreground

Keeping stakeholders at the heart of our policy development

Find out how the MSC adapted it's stakeholder consultation process in the face of a global pandemic

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