Oceans at risk

Oceans are essential to life on Earth. They cover more than 70% of the planet's surface, regulate the climate, and supply the oxygen we need to survive.





The oceans are also home to an extraordinary variety of life. Much of this life is essential to sustain people’s livelihoods and ensure food security as millions rely on fish as their primary source of protein.

Seafood is our last major food source that is truly wild.


decline of marine populations

The stakes are high when we consider how intrinsically linked the health of our oceans is to our environmental, social and economic wellbeing.

According to the United Nations FAO's 2020 State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) report 34.2% of global fisheries have been fished beyond sustainable limits.

The size of marine populations has declined by almost half (49%) between 1970 and 2012 according to WWF’s Living Blue Planet Report 2015

Key factors contributing the problem are overfishing, illegal and destructive fishing as well as climate change. It’s not just the loss of species and ecosystems, the problem has a serious impact on communities


What is the MSC doing?

We work with fisheries, scientists and industry to make sure our oceans are fished sustainably and it’s easy to find and buy certified sustainable seafood. 

By choosing seafood products with the blue MSC label you are directly supporting fishers that take care of our oceans and encouraging others to do the same.

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Melting glacier with mountains behind

Climate change and fishing

Climate change affects the distribution of fish stocks. To balance economic and environmental priorities, fishing needs to be well-managed and sustainable.

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Fisherman (front right) kneeling on sand collecting clams, with an ocean view behind

The impact on communities

Fish is an important source of food and income for communities around the world. For many people, sustainable fishing is a necessity, not a luxury.

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Coastguard ship (left) out on the ocean, foregrounded by rocks and under a cloudy sky

Overfishing, illegal and destructive fishing

The MSC was formed to address the problem of overfishing. Our program works against illegal and destructive fishing practices.

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