U.S. and Canadian Pacific Halibut Industry Groups Oppose MSC Certification of Russian Halibut
High standards are necessary to receive the MSC Certification
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an independent non-profit organization which sets a standard for sustainable fishing. Fisheries that wish to demonstrate they are well-managed and sustainable compared to the science-based MSC standard are assessed by a team of experts who are independent of both the fishery and the MSC. Seafood products can display the blue MSC ecolabel only if that seafood can be traced back through the supply chain to a fishery that has been certified against the MSC standard.
Seattle’s Deep Sea Fishermen’s Union and the Fishing Vessel Owners’ Association, through their non-profit organization Eat on the Wild Side, are the MSC clients for the North Pacific Fishery.
We have partnered with our Canadian counterparts, the Pacific Halibut Management Association of British Columbia (a commercial fishing industry association, which represents the majority of commercial halibut licence holders in British Columbia, Canada) to oppose the MSC certification of Russian caught Pacific Halibut.
We feel that the fishing practices of the Russian commercial Pacific Halibut fishery is substandard and deficient in the areas of stock rebuilding, harvest strategy, habitat management.
See below for U.S. and Canadian performance indicator concerns
The mission of the MSC is to use its ecolabel, for which the MSC receives royalties for licensing it to products, and fishery certification program to contribute to the health of the world’s oceans by recognizing and rewarding sustainable fishing practices.
We do not believe that the Russian Commercial Pacific Halibut fishery has achieved the high standards necessary to receive the MSC Certification.