The Marine Stewardship Council
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation set up to promote solutions to the problem of overfishing. The MSC runs the only certification and ecolabelling programme for wild-capture fisheries consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation guidelines for fisheries certification. The FAO ‘Guidelines for the Eco-labelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries’ require that credible fishery certification and eco-labelling schemes include:
• Objective, third-party fishery assessment utilising scientific evidence;
• Transparent processes with built-in stakeholder consultation and objection procedures;
• Standards based on the sustainability of target species, ecosystems and management practices.
The programme aims to recognise and reward well managed and sustainable fishing and, by creating market incentives, drive positive change in others. Fisheries certified against the MSC standard are entitled to use the distinctive ‘fish with a tick’ eco-label. On consumer products, this eco-label carries a guarantee of sustainability and also traceability through the supply chain to the fishery that caught it.
The MSC has offices in London, Stockholm, Seattle, Tokyo, Sydney, The Hague, Edinburgh, Berlin, Paris and Cape Town. The Cape Town office was set up in 2008 and has responsibility for the Southern Africa region, including Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya, as well as Madagascar, Mauritius and other Indian Ocean states. The office engages with fisheries, supply chain companies and consumers to raise awareness and stimulate market demand for seafood from well managed and sustainable fisheries in the region.