MSC urges consumers to ask for seafood eco-label –

MSC urges consumers to ask for seafood eco-label Published:  27 October, 2005

THE Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), is urging consumers to ask shops and restaurants to stock more MSC eco-labelled products as a practical way to support sustainable fishing practices, as a response to the new Greenpeace report investigating the fish-sourcing policies of UK supermarkets.

“We are glad to see Greenpeace recognise the value of the MSC as part of responsible fish sourcing policies for supermarkets, and we welcome their efforts to raise awareness of the urgent need to reduce overfishing,” said Rupert Howes, MSC’s Chief Executive.

“Supermarkets are an essential gateway linking consumers to producers, and their sourcing policies have a significant impact down the supply chain. By offering MSC-labelled fish products, supermarkets not only demonstrate corporate responsibility, but also give shoppers a chance to send a message of support to those fisheries that are sustainably managed.”

Established by Unilever and WWF in 1997, and a fully independent charity since 1999, the MSC is the only internationally-recognised seafood certification programme in the world. Nearly 40 fisheries are already engaged in the MSC programme, together representing nearly 4% of the world’s wild fish catch.

The MSC environmental standard is based on the UN Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing and was developed with global stakeholder participation. Each fishery assessment is undertaken by an independent, third-party certification body, with annual audits and the facility for spot-checks to ensure compliance. A traceability certificate is also required to ensure that fish sold bearing the MSC eco-label can be tracked from “boat to plate”, providing consumers with the vital confidence in the source of MSC-labelled seafood.

Many UK supermarkets are already selling MSC-labelled products. Consumers can get a complete list of where to buy MSC-labelled seafood at is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish European Fish Trader, Fishing Monthly, Fish Farming Today, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.