What is the MSC?

The Marine Stewardship Council is an international non-profit organisation established to address the problem of unsustainable fishing and safeguard seafood supplies for the future. Our vision is for the world’s oceans to be teeming with life – today, tomorrow and for generations to come. A sustainable seafood market is crucial to making this vision a reality. We use our blue MSC label and fishery certification program to contribute to the health of the world’s oceans. We want to transform the seafood market by recognising and rewarding sustainable fishing practices and influencing the choices people make when buying seafood. We work with fisheries and businesses around the world to achieve this mission.

Minimising environmental impact

To be MSC certified, fishing operations must be managed to maintain the structure, productivity, function and diversity of the ecosystem. This requires reducing ‘bycatch’, the incidental catch of non-target species such as other fish species, juveniles, corals, marine mammals or birds. MSC certified fisheries ensure that these incidences are investigated and minimised wherever possible so that they do not present a risk to the populations of these species. For example, the Western Australia rock lobster fishery modified its fishing technique to prevent sea lions from being trapped in lobster pots.

Effective fisheries management

If fisheries are poorly managed, environmental impacts go unchecked. Unsustainable fishing practices put seafood resources and fishing livelihoods at risk. To be MSC certified, fisheries must comply with relevant laws and have a management system in place that is responsive to changing circumstances.