Sustainable seafood

Sustainable seafood

Seafood that carries the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) ecolabel has been caught by fishers who meet the highest, globally recognised, benchmarks of sustainability.

Attaining certification allows fisheries to demonstrate to customers that their fishery is well managed and sustainable.

To achieve the MSC sustainability standard, fisheries are assessed against three core principles:

1. Management of sustainable fish stocks
2. Minimising environmental impact - to protect the supporting habitat and ecosystems;
3. Effective management-including adherence to all national and international fishing laws.

The MSC provides guidance for fisheries of all types and sizes around the world to help them towards accreditation. However, to ensure the robustness of their certification, every MSC certified fishery must be assessed by an independent, certifying body. Once certified, fisheries continue to aspire and adhere to best practice and are reviewed through surveillance audits to ensure they still comply with the MSC environmental standard for sustainable fishing.

Fisheries in numbers

At present there are 206 fisheries globally that hold the MSC certificate of sustainability, catching over 7 million metric tonnes of seafood. Whilst this is a fantastic achievement, it only accounts for around 8% of the total catch of wild seafood.

However, thanks to the support of consumers who ask for certified sustainable seafood, there are a further 113 fisheries working towards their certification and we hope that there will be many more in future years. Together, we can help to protect and transform the world’s oceans.

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Sustainable Seafood in School

Fish & Kids is a project of the Marine Stewardship Council, designed to bring sustainable seafood sourcing to schools in the UK.