Sustainable fishing means leaving enough fish in the ocean and protecting habitats and threatened species. By safeguarding the oceans, people who depend on fishing can maintain their livelihoods.
The sustainability of a fishery can be assessed regardless of its size, geography or the fishing method used. Our Fisheries Standard is a science-based way to measure that sustainability. When fisheries are independently assessed to the standard, three main principles are considered:
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.
Are operations well managed? MSC certified fisheries must comply with relevant laws and be able to adapt to changing environmental circumstances.
The three principles of the MSC Fisheries Standard
Sustainability is about the future
The sustainability of a fishery is an ongoing process. After they are MSC certified, fisheries are regularly reassessed and many are required to make further improvements. Scientific knowledge also improves all the time and fisheries are encouraged to develop new ways of conserving marine resources for future generations.
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What does the blue MSC label mean?
The blue fish label is only applied to wild fish or seafood from fisheries certified to the MSC standard, a scientific measure of sustainable fishing.
Our approach means everyone can play a part in that future while enjoying seafood, not avoiding it.
As well as fishing healthy populations, fisheries must show they are managing their impacts on habitats and other marine species.