Long regarded as the gold standard for eco-certification of sustainable fisheries around the world, the London-based Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has begun to lose some of its glitterat least in the eyes of many of the scientists and environmentalists meeting in Paris this week at the Seafood Choices Alliance’s annual Seafood Summit.
The flashpoint is the MSC’s plans to grant certification to British Columbia’s Fraser River sockeye salmon fishery. The final decision is expected to be announced next week.
“I almost choked when I heard that they were planning to certify Fraser River sockeye. The population is in freefall,” Daniel Pauly said in an interview. Pauly, the keynote speaker at the summit, is a renowned marine scientist and the principal investigator at the University of British Columbia’s Fisheries Centre. He was also one of the advisors called in to lend the MSC scientific credibility when the organization was founded in the late nineties.
Canadian environmental groups, at least three of which sent delegates to Paris specifically to lobby against MSC certification of Fraser sockeye, agree with Pauly that the fisheryfar from being sustainably harvestedmay be collapsing.
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