ATuna, 28 July 2022
In June, the MSC announced that the new Fisheries Standard had been approved, which includes a condition pathway phase for fisheries to implement robust Harvest control rules. Recently, many MSC certified fisheries in the Western and Eastern Pacific have been at risk of losing their certifications due to a lack of harvest strategies at RFMOs. This new condition pathway is meant to incentivise the adoption of HCR.
Our thoughts: The MSC label, at its core, should be granted to only those fisheries who can prove they are truly sustainable; fishing at a sustainable level and using non-harmful fishing practices, for target, non-target species and ecosystems as a whole. There are a number of fisheries that are currently certified but do not have harvest strategies in place. Which is very much of concern. We appreciate that MSC has come forward to say that if HCRs are not in place, these fisheries risk losing their certification, and have tried to address this with the new Standard by creating this new condition pathway, however, this does not go far enough. Without proper harvest strategies in place, these fisheries cannot prove that they are harvesting at sustainable levels, this is not only misleading to those purchasing these certified products, but undermines the integrity of the label.