The Marine Stewardship Council
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is a fishery certification programme and seafood ecolabel which recognises and rewards sustainable fishing worldwide. It is a global organisation working with fisheries, seafood companies, scientists, conservation groups and the public around the world to promote the best environmental choice in seafood.
It has developed two standards for sustainable fishing and seafood traceability to ensure that MSC-labelled seafood comes from, and can be traced back to, a sustainable fishery. Firstly, the MSC environmental standard for sustainable fishing, which ensures that fishing must be at a level which is sustainable for the fish population, maintains the structure, productivity, function and diversity of the ecosystem on which the fishery depends, and that it meets all local, national and international laws, and has a management system in place to respond to changing circumstances. Secondly, it maintains a MSC Chain of Custody standard for seafood traceability makes sure that the MSC label is only displayed on seafood from a MSC certified sustainable fishery.
The Alaska Salmon fishery was one of the first fisheries to enter the MSC programme and to demonstrate its sustainability to global markets through independent verification. It successfully achieved a second cycle of certification in 2007. Wild Alaska salmon products currently trade nearly 900 MSC labeled products in more than 30 countries. Certifying products is an excellent way for retailers to prove their commitment to sustainability. There are currently 69 certified fisheries in the MSC programme, which are reviewed on an annual basis.
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