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Marine Stewardship Council | Food & Water Watch
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Luana Conley

Marine Stewardship Council

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international program that was established in 1997 to certify wild,caught seafood as sustainably managed. When a fishery is certified according to MSC standards, the seafood products can bear the MSC‚ blue and white seal.

Marine Stewardship Council logoWhile the MSC has been a step toward promoting better consciousness about seafood, some of the fisheries it approves as sustainable are actually associated with some significant environmental problems, making their certification questionable. Controversial fisheries include Alaska pollock, South Georgia toothfish (aka sea bass), and New Zealand hoki. Concerns about Alaskan pollock and New Zealand hoki include effects on endangered and at, risk species, such as sea lions and seals. South Georgia toothfish was certified despite the fact that there is a high rate of illegal fishing and trade of Chilean sea bass, and questions exist as to whether suppliers can have confidence that the fish they are getting was caught legally.

Currently, there is no one size fits all short,cut for consumers to find sustainable seafood just by looking for a logo on the label. The best approach is to become educated about what types of seafood, in which locations are truly well managed, and which are more problematic. It is worth the extra step to know that you are really getting the product that you pay for.

Learn more: check out our fact sheet!