The impact on communities

Communities around the world depend on the fishing industry for food and income.

And for many people fishing is a way of life and a necessity, not a luxury.

With increasing population levels and challenges such as climate change, sustainable fishing is vital to safeguard food security and the livelihoods of millions of people around the world.


According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO):


people largely in developing countries, depend on fish as their main source of protein.


people are directly or indirectly employed in the fish and seafood industries. 
More than

40 million

people engaged in primary sector of wild capture fisheries in 2016.


of the world’s traded seafood comes from developing countries.


of world’s fishers live in developing countries and fishing is their major income source. 

In 2016, 85% of the global population engaged in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors was in Asia, followed by Africa (10%) and Latin America and the Caribbean (4%) - (UNFAO SOFIA 2018 Report)


Sustainable fishing, sustainable communities

The MSC encourages responsible fisheries management and sustainable practices to protect the future of fishing communities.

Fishing is often a family businessfuture generations will only benefit if oceans remain healthy. Responsible fishers are choosing to fish sustainably in order to pass on their treasured way of life. 37% of the world’s population live in coastal communities where whole families are often employed in fishing. Women account for most of the workers in secondary marine-related activities such as fish processing and marketing. 

Buying MSC certified fish and seafood helps sustain the livelihoods of those fishing responsibly.



Ocean Lives

Meet the people behind sustainable seafood. The MSC program is a collective effort that could not exist without the many fishers around the world who work to safeguard stocks, ecosystems and their own livelihoods.

Read the fishers’ stories

Find out more

Our history option 2- header SPOTLIGHT

Pathway to sustainability

The MSC is working with NGOs, governments, retailers and funders around the world to create a pathway to sustainability for small-scale fisheries and fisheries in developing countries.

Find out more
A flock of seagulls flying over the ocean and in front of a fishing vessel (far right)

Our collective impact

For over 20 years fisheries, scientists, consumers and industry have been part of a collective effort to make sure our oceans are fished sustainably.

Find out more
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