MSC Board Confirms Topics For Further Consultation

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Board of Trustees has agreed the areas where its globally recognised standard for sustainable fishing could be updated in 2022.

The MSC Fisheries Standard sets the bar for sustainable fishing for more than 15 per cent of the world’s seafood catch. In line with United Nations guidelines and best practice in standard setting, the Standard is reviewed every five years.

The topics in the Fisheries Standard Review, which will undergo consultation in 2020-21, include proposals made by stakeholders such as environmental NGOs, academics and the fishing industry.

The Board’s decision was informed by in-depth research and analysis of each proposed area for potential improvement.

Dr Rohan Currey, Chief Science and Standards Officer at the MSC said:“We are now planning consultations, where we will invite stakeholders to comment further on potential revisions to our requirements. Stakeholders from all relevant sectors will be invited to help develop solutions and test the possible impacts. We encourage anyone with knowledge or an interest in these areas to get involved to help ensure all points of view are taken into consideration.”

The areas being taken forward for further consultation in the Fisheries Standard Review fall under eight themes, including:

  • protecting endangered, threatened and protected species;
  • best practice regulations and management systems to stop shark finning; and
  • supporting the avoidance of gear loss and preventing ghost fishing.

The proposed updates to the MSC Fisheries Standard are open to consultation until 2021. Anyone who would like to be notified when consultation opens can register for updates online. 

The current Fisheries Standard Review started in 2018 and will run until 2022.

The Board also approved an updated version of the Fisheries Certification Process, which outlines the process by which fisheries are assessed to the MSC Fisheries Standard. Changes to these requirements will be released in March 2020.

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