The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation set up to help transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis. The MSC runs the only certification and ecolabelling program for wild-capture fisheries consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation Guidelines for the Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries. These guidelines are based upon the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing and require that credible fishery certification and ecolabelling schemes include:
Transparent processes with built-in stakeholder consultation and objection procedures;
Standards based on the sustainability of target species, ecosystems and management practices.
The MSC has regional or area offices in London, Seattle, Tokyo, Sydney, The Hague, Beijing, Berlin, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Halifax, Paris, Madrid, Stockholm, Santiago, Moscow, Salvador, Singapore and Reykjavik.In total, over 340 fisheries are engaged in the MSC program with 240 certified and 100 under full assessment. Together, fisheries already certified or in full assessment record annual catches of close to ten million metric tonnes of seafood. This represents over eleven per cent of the annual global harvest of wild capture fisheries. Certified fisheries currently land over seven million metric tonnes of seafood annually – close to eight per cent of the total harvest from wild capture fisheries. Worldwide, more than 25,000 seafood products, which can be traced back to the certified sustainable fisheries, bear the blue MSC ecolabel.