Monday, October 5, 2009

Eco-certification of wild capture fisheries - public resource

Marine fish are considered to be a public resource and generally we would like to see them sustainably managed for long-term public good.

Eco-certification of sustainable fisheries would seem to be one way of achieving this. The idea is that if the public only purchases eco-certified fish products bearing a clear and valid eco-label, then there will be a dissinsentive for the fishing industry to engage in unsustainable fishing practices and for purveyors to deal in unsustainble fish products.

Clearly there are three parties involved in this process - us who want sustainable fisheries (hopefully), the industry that wants to make a profit (of course), and the eco-certifiers who want to make a difference.

The purpose of this blog is to discuss the respective roles of the public, the fishing industry and the eco-certifiers in this process. The most prominent eco-certifier at present is the Marine Stewardship Council: They have been at it for 10 years and currently have 56 certified fisheries around the globe.

So, how well do we think they are doing? Are all these fisheries really sustainable? How good is the MSC standard? Is certification working? Feel free to contribute your views!

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