Forced and child labour

The MSC condemns forced and child labour. In 2014 we introduced measures to reduce the risk of these violations occurring in MSC certified fisheries or supply chains.

Forced and child labour is an industry-wide issue with no quick or easy solution. We recognise the widespread concern and continue to engage with other organisations working on these issues to find practical solutions to this problem.

We have taken steps to incorporate existing labour auditing schemes and transparency measures into our programs.

The MSC standards themselves remain solely focussed on environmental performance, sustainability and traceability of wild captured seafood.


What has the MSC done about forced labour?

In 2014, the MSC Board made a commitment to include a clear policy on forced labour and entities prosecuted for forced labour violations in the previous two years are excluded from the MSC program. To further develop our requirements and reduce the risk of forced or child labour in the supply chain, the MSC held multi-stakeholder consultations with more than 300 organisations between 2016-2018.

Labour practices at sea

In August 2018, we introduced new requirements to provide transparency of labour practices at sea. 

All MSC certified fisheries now report publicly on the measures they are taking to address forced and child labour. These statements can be found on Track a Fishery. 

Labour practices in supply chains

In March 2019, the MSC introduced labour auditing for MSC certified seafood supply chains. 

Certificate holders may have to undergo independent labour audits depending on country and activity-based risk scoring tools. These globally recognised, commonly used tools were selected following a multi-stakeholder consultation process.

Please read our summary of changes for more information

More about our work

Full shot of fishermen repairing hanging nets with their backs to the camera

Our approach

Our approach means everyone can play a part in that future while enjoying fish and seafood, not avoiding them.

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Clam fisherman standing in silhouette on small boat, India

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.

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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.

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