Canada’s wild salmon fisheries are voluntarily giving up their Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, the most popular “sustainable” label for seafood.
An audit in 2018 found that the Canadian Pacific coast salmon fisheries were not on track to meet nine out of 22 required remedial conditions related to stock assessments, fishery monitoring and reducing the impact of hatchery fish on the wild population. With insufficient progress since, the fishery was effectively pushed out of MSC certification, a representative of the Canadian Pacific Sustainable Seafood Society (CPSSS) told IntraFish.
CPSSS and a coalition of environmental advocacy groups both blamed Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) for allegedly failing to address the issues raised in the audit.
“The only real surprise is it took MSC this long to determine DFO’s management system did not meet its requirements for a sustainable fishery,” said Greg Knox of advocacy group SkeenaWild Conservation Trust. “We can’t fish responsibly if we don’t know how many fish are making it back to their streams to spawn.”