When a fishery is successfully certified to the Fisheries Standard, its certified catch can be sold with the blue MSC label.
Certification to the MSC Fisheries Standard is voluntary. It’s open to all fisheries who catch marine or freshwater organisms in the wild. This includes most types of fish and shellfish.
Fisheries are assessed by accredited independent certifiers (called Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) – also called certification bodies), not the MSC.
What is assessed?
The MSC Fisheries Standard has three core principles that every fishery must meet:
Sustainable fish stocks
Are enough fish left in the ocean? Fishing must be at a level that ensures it can continue indefinitely and the fish population can remain productive and healthy.
What are the environmental impacts? Fishing activity must be managed carefully so that other species and habitats within the ecosystem remain healthy.
Effective fisheries management
Are operations well managed? MSC certified fisheries must comply with relevant laws and be able to adapt to changing environmental circumstances.