The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) received another independent confirmation of the scientific rigor and credibility of its certification and ecolabelling program last week when the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program released the results of a year-long benchmarking study. The study concluded the MSC is currently the only wild capture certification program with a standard that is equivalent to Seafood Watch criteria for environmental sustainability. Monterey Bay Aquarium commissioned an independent scientific team to compare all major wild capture certification programs to the rating system used by Seafood Watch: only the MSC program was robust enough to meet Seafood Watch criteria. The report also commented on the additional assurance that the MSC’s chain of custody standard for traceability offers consumers and seafood buyers.
Seafood Watch will now
- describe all MSC certified fisheries as “buy recommendations” to all its partners and to consumers – over 17,500 partners and millions of consumers regularly engage with the Seafood Watch program.
- highlight MSC certified fisheries in all information and guidance for consumers, chefs, and supply chain businesses.
- cease its own assessments of fisheries that are certified to the MSC standard [for sustainable and well-managed fisheries.
“This independent study by one of the most respected and recognized marine conservation organizations in the world confirms again that the MSC program is working as intended; and that the rigor, credibility and impartiality of the MSC standard and its application continue to be judged the best in the world,” said Rupert Howes, MSC chief executive. “This is great news for the growing numbers of consumers and businesses that want to make the best environmental choice in seafood, and well-deserved recognition of all those certified fisheries that are helping secure the future health of our marine resources.”