About MSC

The Marine Stewardship Council works to promote responsible fisheries management and sustainable methods, in order to protect the fishing communities of the future.

The MSC was founded in 1997, and is a non-profit organisation with its headquarters in London.

The organisation operates a global labelling scheme that aims to promote sustainable and responsible fisheries. The principles of MSC certification are based on the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries drawn up by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

MSC certification is based on three main principles:

  1. Fishing activities must be at a level that is sustainable for the fish stocks.
  2. The fishery must be operated in such a way that the ecosystem on which it depends retains its structure, productivity, function and diversity.
  3. Fisheries must comply with local, national and international legislation, and must have an administration system in place that can adapt to changing conditions and maintain sustainability.

The illustration below shows a fishery under assessed for a certification. The participating fishing vessels (shown with logos) receive the MSC certification. Other fishing vessels can be active in the same fishery without receiving the MSC certification, since they do not participate in the certification process. But these vessels can on a later stage apply for a registration as participants in the MSC certification.