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Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Help shape the MSC fisheries standard

In 2013-14, the MSC has committed to undertake a review of the MSC fishery Standard for sustainable fishing. The review focuses on the MSC fishery assessment and other fishery client performance requirements on topics including benthic impacts, unit of certification, bycatch and discards. Stakeholder feedback is an integral part of the review process. This second round of consultation and all public comment is now open until 26th October at
To keep our oceans teeming with life and safeguard seafood supplies for the future, the MSC offers the world's leading certification program for fisheries to demonstrate they are sustainable. But science and industry do not stand still, and as we...

MSC has committed to undertake a review of the Fisheries Standard (FSR) in 2013. The full list of program improvements currently open for public consultation (11 September - 26 October 2013) is shown in the table below:

Program improvements description
Principle 1: Sustainable
fish stock
To provide clarifications and guidance when assessing the sustainability of fish stock. Two sub-projects are included:
  • Principle 1 clarifications
  • Metapopulations
Principle 2:
Minimising environmental impact
To ensure consistency and to reflect best practice throughout Principle 2, including:
  • Species outcome Performance Indicators (PIs) and the species component restructure
  • Species management and information PIs
  • Habitat
Principle 3:
Effective managemen
To consider changes to the performance indicators used to assess fisheries management systems.
Risk Based FrameworkTo improve on the three aspects of the risk based framework (RBF):
    • Species Performance Indicators (PIs)
    • RBF developments
        Fishery Process IssuesTo provide additional guidance and clarity to three sections:
        • Definition of unit of certification (UoC)
        • Fishery traceability
        • Harmonisation of conditions timelines
          The FSR will consolidate the MSC’s existing policy development process on issues pertaining to the Default Assessment Tree and other fishery client ‘performance’ requirements. These program improvements went into an early stage public consultation this year from 22 April - 1 June 2013. You can find out more about the early stage consultation here.
          If you would like more information about the FSR, please contact Dan Hoggarth (Fisheries Oversight Director) at
          In addition, the MSC will undertake a Speed and Cost Review (SCR) in parallel to the FSR, to review and reform the assessment process. The aim is to reduce the time, cost and complexity of certification.

          Current status

          The MSC Fisheries Standard Review is currently open for public to comment until 26th October 2013. Anyone can view the program improvements proposed by the MSC and share their expertise and experience through the consultation.

          Planned work

          The development stage of the FSR includes various opportunities for stakeholders like you to provide feedback. These opportunities include broad online consultation and in-person workshops for project items that receive high level of stakeholder interest. See planned activities for the FSR below:
          11 September - 26 OctoberLate-stage online consultation on all policy topicsThe MSC Program
          Improvements website
          25 SeptemberStakeholder webinar - Fisheries Standard Review and Speed and Cost Review topicsRemotely
          To register, please send email to
          26 SeptemberStakeholder webinar -
          Chain of Custody topics
          To register, please send email to
          16-17 SeptemberConformity Assessment Body (CAB) consultationLondon, UK
          7-8 OctoberLatin America workshopSantiago, Chile
          9-13 DecemberTechnical Advisory Board (TAB) and Stakeholder Council (StC) meetingLisbon, Portugal
          To become an observer, please register at