Determining International ‘Best Practice' Science and Management for Sustainable Fisheries: Results from the Marine Stewardship Council's 2013 Fisheries Standard Review

Tuesday, August 19, 2014: 9:20 AM
2103 (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Megan Atcheson , Standards, Marine Stewardship Council, London, United Kingdom
Science, management and industry do not stand still, with enhanced understanding about impacts on marine ecosystems and changes within the seafood industry, third-party standards must ensure they keep pace and stay relevant.  The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), which maintains a global standard and methodology for the assessment and certification of sustainable fisheries, has committed to undertaking a Fisheries Standard Review every five years.  The MSC seeks to ensure that the standard is both up to date with scientific knowledge and management best practices, and is applicable to all fisheries, regardless of size, location, species or other characteristics.  The new certification requirements resulting from the review include modifications to requirements for assessing stock status, and new requirements for addressing cumulative impacts of certified fisheries on both incidentally caught species and affected habitats.  Furthermore, a standard has been developed specifically for salmon, taking into account their unique population structure and artificial production.   These program improvements resulted from issues raised and subsequently prioritized, and were developed using internal and external expertise and extensive consultation with stakeholders to ensure robustness and transparency.  This paper introduces the revisions to the Standard in 2014, and demonstrates their consistency with best practices in fisheries science and management.