Sustainable fishing means leaving enough fish in the ocean, respecting habitats and ensuring people who depend on fishing can maintain their livelihoods.
The sustainability of a fishery can be assessed regardless of its size, geography or the fishing method used. Our Fisheries Standard is a science-based way to measure that sustainability. When fisheries are independently assessed to the standard, three main principles are considered:
Sustainable fish stocks
Are enough fish left in the ocean? Fishing must be at a level that ensures it can continue indefinitely and the fish population can remain productive and healthy.
Minimising environmental impact
What are the impacts? Fishing activity must be managed carefully so that other species and habitats within the ecosystem remain healthy.
Effective fisheries management
Are operations well managed? MSC certified fisheries must comply with relevant laws and be able to adapt to changing environmental circumstances.
Sustainability is about the future
The sustainability of a fishery is an ongoing process. After they are MSC certified, fisheries are regularly reassessed and many are required to make further improvements. Scientific knowledge also improves all the time and fisheries are encouraged to develop new ways of conserving marine resources for future generations.
Find out more about the MSC Fisheries Standard on our main website.