MARINE STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL (MSC)
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is a global nonprofit organization, established to protect wildly caught seafood. The MSC works with fisheries like Omega Protein to change the way that the oceans are fished, and make it simple for consumers to purchase sustainable, traceable seafood.
Omega Protein voluntarily complies with the Marine Stewardship Council certification and ecolabeling program, to aid in safeguarding the menhaden resource. It’s vital that everyone from fisheries to retailers, scientists to consumers, complies with and has confidence in the MSC blue fish label, and the credibility of the claims made by certified organizations.
Each MSC certified fishery is independently assessed by third-party experts on its specific impacts to wild fish populations and the ecosystems they are part of. The third-party independent assessment team is made up of experts in fisheries management. These teams consult with stakeholders interested in the fishery, from retailers to NGOs to governing bodies. This ensures that all information and perspectives are considered and that outcomes are based on the most current science. To be certified, the fishery must meet 28 detailed criteria across three principles. This rigorous process can take up to 18 months.
Certification by an independent team of experts is necessary to avoid conflicts of interest so the process remains impartial and credible. As such, the MSC does not decide what fisheries get certified; that’s up to the independent auditors.
From ocean to plate, MSC certified seafood is tracked, kept separate from non-certified products, and is clearly labeled so it can be traced back to a certified sustainable source. Every company at every step of the supply chain must be certified and audited annually to ensure these strict rules are adhered to. Once certified, fisheries are audited annually to ensure that they are maintaining the required level of sustainability and meeting any conditions of improvement.
The MSC ensures they meet the highest international benchmarks for credible certification and ecolabeling, and their standards, reflect best practice in fisheries management. They are currently the only international certification program for wild caught seafood, recognized by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative, an independent benchmark for the credibility of sustainable seafood certification programs. Only seafood from fisheries that meet the strict standard of the MSC for sustainability can be sold with the MSC “Blue Label”. It’s their way of making sure, you know that your seafood purchase, is good for the oceans, because it’s wild, sustainable and traceable back to a certified fishery.
In the MSC program, sustainable seafood means it was fished from stocks with healthy populations, with minimal impact on the marine environment and in an area with effective, responsive, and responsible management. The sustainability of a fishery can be assessed, regardless of its size, geography or fishing method used.
When you choose products with the blue fish label, you’re choosing wild caught seafood that can be traced back to a sustainable source.
The MSC meets international best practice guidelines and industry standards to ensure that you can trust seafood with our label. Studies* consistently find the MSC program to be among the most trustworthy and widely available indicator of sustainable seafood.