The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) published the third edition of its Science Series on 22 June 2015, comprising two research papers on best practice in fisheries management and sustainable seafood. The first addresses the importance of metapopulations to fish stocks, and the second reviews the best ways to manage and reduce the impact of fishing on the ocean floor.
- The relevance of the metapopulation concept to fisheries: a review
- Best practices for managing, measuring and mitigating the benthic impacts of fishing
Both papers provided evidence for recent review of the MSC’s Fisheries Standard, the key updates for which are:
- Special considerations now ensure the protection of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs)
- MSC fisheries will no longer be at risk of generating cumulative negative impacts on bycatch species
- Fisheries will need to regularly review alternative measures that could reduce the mortality of unwanted species in the catches
- Strengthened requirements will ensure that shark finning is not occurring in MSC fisheries
- An entirely new default standard has been introduced for the assessment of enhanced salmon fisheries, following six years of discussion with stakeholders
- A new risk based framework (RBF) assessment method for habitats is now available for use in data-limited situations
- Revised surveillance audit and re-assessment requirements have been developed intended to minimise the assessment costs for fishery clients
- An independent Peer Review College is being created to provide a more standardised and effective peer review process
- Requirements have been added to provide more effective traceability of seafood products from fisheries into the supply chain
- Companies successfully prosecuted for forced labour violations shall be ineligible for MSC certification.
Image credit: Marine Stewardship Council