Marine Stewardship Council

The Marine Stewardship Council has developed standards for sustainable fishing and seafood traceability. Both standards are based on independent third-party assessments by accredited certifiers. The science-based MSC environmental standard for sustainable fishing offers fisheries a way to confirm sustainability, using a credible, independent, third-party assessment process. It means sustainable fisheries can be recognised and rewarded in the marketplace, and gives an assurance to buyers and consumers that their seafood comes from a well managed and sustainable source. The MSC standard applies to wild-capture fisheries only – whatever their size, type or location but does not apply to farmed fish.

The MSC standard has 3 overarching principles that every fishery must prove that it meets:

Principle 1: Sustainable fish stocks

Principle 2: Minimising environmental impact

Principle 3: Effective management

At present three Irish fisheries have achieved MSC certification. These are The Celtic Sea herring fishery, polyvalent mackerel and RSW mackerel fisheries. Certification for both mackerel fisheries are currently suspended due to disputes over mackerel catches by Iceland and the Faroe Islands. These Irish fisheries continue to be audited each year, under the principles of the certification process, but are not issued certificates due to the ongoing dispute.