What is a fishery?
Anything we refer to as a ‘fishery’ is defined as such by agreement between its representative client(s) and the certification body that assesses it. This definition will usually be set at the point the fishery enters assessment, based upon what is deemed most efficient. This could be decided by scientific or commercial factors or a combination.
Examples of possible fishery types
Two or more previously unconnected fleets targeting the same fish stock form a joint client group and become assessed as one fishery.
Fisheries 2 and 3:
One fishery is split in two due to commercial factors, for example where different groups of vessels within a fleet do not wish to enter assessment together. In these cases, the fishery client name will usually be included in the name of a fishery. Each fishery will include some, but not all, of the vessels fishing a stock.
'Units of assessment' and 'Units of certification'
The unit of assessment (UoA) defines exactly what is under assessment. If the fishery is certified, only fish from the named unit(s) of certification will be able to carry the MSC ecolabel in the marketplace.
- Target fish species and stock (including its geographic area)
- Fishing method, gear, practice and/or vessel type
- The fishing fleet /groups of vessels or individual fishing operators pursuing that stock including those client group members initially intended to be covered by the certificate.
When the certifier makes a decision about whether or not a fishery meets the MSC Fisheries Standard, it is possible that some units can pass while others fail. Only seafood from units of certification that are certified as meeting the Standard can carry the blue MSC ecolabel.
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