What is MSC (Marine Stewardship Council)?
MSC is an independent Non-profit organization who sets standard for sustainable fishing to contribute to the health of the world’s ocean. Their objective is to secure the world’s ocean by using their reputation with the fishery certification program to reward sustainable fishing practices. This influences choice making to people when buying seafood, and telling partners to recognize for having a responsibility for ecosystem, then transforming the seafood market to a sustainable basis. As a result, fisheries who wish to demonstrate well managed for sustainable. They must be audited by the organization that is independent of both the fishery and the MSC. Seafood products can display the blue MSC Eco-label only if that seafood can be traced back through the supply chain to a fishery that has been certified against the MSC standard.
Principles of MSC for sustainability
There are 3 core principles that fishery need to perform accordingly to be certified by MSC standard.
Principle 1: Sustainable fish stocks: The fishing process must be ensuring that there is in a sustainable level for the target of fish population, not overfishing the resources.
Principle 2: Minimising environmental impact: Fishing operations should be managed to maintain the structure, productivity, function and diversity of the ecosystem on which the fishery depends.
Principle 3: Effective management: The fishery must comply with all local, national and international regulations and must have a management system to respond on changing circumstances and maintain sustainability.
How MSC with sustainability is measured?
As 3 principles for MSC for sustainability, there are a total of 31 performance indicators that a fishery is scored against by an independent team of MSC auditors. The each of 31 performance indicators for minimum passing is defined at MSC standard which provide good level of assurance for productivity of all key aliments of ecosystem that fishery has an impact are not compromised. There not only takes into an account for the impact of the fishery on the target stock, but also other relevant components of the wider ecosystem, such as habitat structure, productivity and biodiversity. Score of 60 is a minimum level of passing. If the fishery perform below scores 60 on any of 31 performance indicators, it will an automatically failure. However, to become certified according to MSC standard, scores at 60 for minimum performance level is not enough, average scores of at least 80 for the performance Indicators under each of the 3 principles have to be achieved. As a result, every fishery certified by the MSC standard is operating at a very high level of precaution. This means the fishery is more efficiency to potential deviation such as natural stock fluctuations, and better able to secure its long-term sustainability.