Five updates to the MSC Fisheries Standard, including a clear policy on forced labour

Resource / Five updates to the MSC Fisheries Standard, including a clear policy on forced labour

By Michael Zahn / 28 Oct 2015


The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has released its Annual Report 2014-2015 ‘15 years of certified sustainable seafood’, providing important updates to the MSC Fisheries Standard.


Overall the five updates consist of:


  • Cumulative impacts on bycatch species addressed
    Cumulative impacts of certified fisheries on bycatch must now be considered during assessments in order to ensure that fisheries` impacts remain within ecological limits.


  • New measures to protect habitats
    The MSC has adopted new measures to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) as many of these areas are highly fragile.


  • New requirements to review bycatch
    Fisheries must review their measures to decrease the mortality of non-target species on a regular basis.


  • Clear policy on forced labour
    The organisation emphasises its condemnation for forced labour. Businesses that have been prosecuted for violations within the past two years do not qualify for certification. Forced labour is a current concern within the seafood industry as two recent class-action lawsuits against Mars and Nestlé show.


  • Streamlined process
    The MSC has improved the auditing and assessment process and designed it as simple and efficient as possible, leading to reduced costs and administrative burden for fisheries.


Fisheries certified by MSC catch nearly nine million metric tonnes of seafood; almost 10% of the total global wild-caught seafood supply and 45.9% of the global whitefish haul.



MSC is a Futures Centre partner

Image Credit: bertknot / flickr

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