The Marine Stewardship Council has responded to the On the Hook campaign, which yesterday launched its own review into the organisation saying that it is disappointed with the decision.
The Marine Stewardship Council or MSC, are known as an internationally regarded body that is helping secure a healthy future for oceans by encouraging a sustainable seafood market. They have been actively working with the seafood industry in this since 1997, and have created several important initiatives, including the Blue MSC Label Fish.
The blue MSC label is only applied to wild fish or seafood from fisheries that have been certified to the MSC Fisheries Standard, a set of requirements for sustainable fishing.
Fish and seafood with the blue label comes from a fishery that has been independently assessed on its impacts to wild fish populations and the ecosystems they’re part of.
All along the supply chain, MSC certified products are separated from non-certified. MSC certified seafood is accurately labelled, ensuring that seafood with the blue tick comes from fisheries that are MSC certified as fishing sustainably.
The On the Hook campaign say that although they recognise that the MSC has a vital role to play in global ocean governance, it is currently failing to deliver on its vision of an ‘ocean teeming with life’.
On The Hook, which launched in 2017, is now calling on all stakeholders to share their views on MSC’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as solutions for improvement, by participating in an online consultation.
The MSC has released a statement in response to the launch of On the Hook’s external review of the organisation An MSC spokesperson said:
“We are disappointed that ‘On the Hook’ has taken the step of launching its own review of the MSC. We see this as unnecessary and a distraction, given the scale of the challenges facing the ocean.
“The Marine Stewardship Council is just finishing a review of its Fisheries Standard – a careful and thorough process which has involved over 1000 stakeholders, the most extensive consultation ever undertaken by the organisation. The MSC’s review is likely to result in significant changes to the programme, including for example, greater protection for endangered, threatened and protected marine species.
“Far from being an organisation which is not subject to independent scrutiny, the MSC is regularly assessed against international standards for seafood sustainability and independent ecolabels, in line with United Nations requirements.
“We frequently engage and learn from stakeholders – including On the Hook – and this is integral to the success of our programme. However, we disagree with On the Hook’s starting point that the MSC is not effective at driving progress in sustainable fishing, which pre-empts any findings of an external review. We see this campaign as an unwelcome diversion from the real task of ending global overfishing.”