In the framework of the Seafood Expo Global 2014 in Brussels, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) held its annual Global Commercial Network meeting, which showed an annual rise in MSC certified products of 21% to September 2013 and a fivefold increase in four years.
This growth would not be possible without the participation of our partners throughout the value chain who deliver environmental choice to the consumer, Nicolas Guichoux, Global Commercial Director, pointed out.
And he added: MSC certified fisheries are now part of a global elite of sustainable and well-managed fisheries.
The director also explained that up to September 2013, the annual net wholesale value of MSC certified products reached 4.5bn. dollars worth, an additional close to 40% at retail level.
MSC also experienced a shift towards emerging sectors such as sustainably sourced fish oil supplements.
It was revealed that there are now 221 certified fisheries in the MSC program and a further 106 in assessment, representing 10.5% of the world’s wild-capture fisheries.
Furthermore, MSC has recorded more than 450 improvements in fisheries to date and is planning this year to release a second Global Impacts report with greater detail of these and new improvements.
MSC sources explained that as a result of certification, environmental gains also include quota reductions, ring-fencing of fishing grounds, by-catch management and a 90% reduction in total seabird mortality thanks to the deployment of streamer lines.
This year, the MSC is finalizing its five-yearly Fisheries Standard Review and has launched a review of its Chain of Custody, which enables MSC-labeled seafood to be traceable back to a certified fishery.
Rupert Howes, chief executive of MSC, pointed out that MSC was also working on a speed and cost review to reduce complexity.
“There are costs, but there are also benefits and they have to be looked at together,” MSC chief executive stressed. Guest panelists at the meeting also shared their views on market trends in sustainable seafood.(FIS).-