The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is the first global sustainable seafood certification program to achieve recognition from the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI), confirming it meets international requirements for credibility and rigor.
The GSSI benchmark, based on United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO) Guidelines for the Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products, includes international performance indicators for governance, operational management, supply chain traceability and auditing. It was developed in consultation with environmental NGOs, global businesses, independent experts, government and intergovernmental organizations. Recognition to this benchmark required a high level of scrutiny of the MSC’s operations and included detailed stakeholder consultation.
Rupert Howes, Chief Executive of the MSC said: “The MSC offers a science and evidence based program to recognize sustainable fishing practices throughout the world, rewarding existing good practice and driving real change on a global scale. Recognition from GSSI reaffirms the rigor and credibility of MSC certification. Anyone committing to purchase MSC certified seafood can be confident that it reflects global best practice in fisheries management.”
Dr David Agnew, Director of Science and Standards at the MSC said: “The MSC welcomed the thorough scrutiny of our processes and requirements that was required to achieve GSSI recognition. Third-party scrutiny, independence, transparency, impartiality and stakeholder consultation are central to the MSC’s values and commitment to continually improve and maintain world-leading standards.”
Audun Lem, Deputy Director Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Economics Division, UN FAO said: “MSC’s successful completion of the GSSI Benchmark Process highlights the importance of adhering to internationally agreed instruments such as the FAO Ecolabelling Guidelines. The GSSI process has demonstrated the merit of various types of certification schemes and we encourage others to follow MSC’s example.”