The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has targeted for 20 percent of all global fisheries to be certified sustainable by 2020. The council recently studied the impact of sustainable seafood certification, and its report underlined the role of sustainable certification in achieving sustainable development goals.
Fisheries are vital to the food security and sustainable development of billions of people worldwide. Hundreds of millions of people are directly or indirectly dependent on seafood for their livelihoods, and, in 2014, fishery exports from developing countries were valued at US$80 billion, higher than all other food commodities—including meat, rice and sugar—combined.
“The MSC programme provides both recognition and incentive for responsible ocean stewardship,” said Rupert Howes, chief executive, MSC. “12 percent of global marine wild catch is certified to the MSC Fisheries Standard, the market for certified sustainable and labelled seafood is worth over US$5 billion and the program is widely recognised as the most rigorous and credible indicator of environmental sustainability and traceability in the seafood sector.”
In December 2016, 296 fisheries in 35 countries are certified as sustainable to the MSC Fisheries Standard, which demonstrated their commitment in contributing to healthy ecosystems and the long-term sustainability of fish stocks.
The certification awarded by the MSC, which companies often place on their labels, lets consumers know that fish stocks are being managed sustainably.