What is the purpose of MSC and ASC certification? Buying seafood from sustainable fisheries or responsible aquaculture ensures that the important aquatic ecosystems (sea, lakes, rivers) remain intact, fish stocks are not overexploited and fish remains an important source of food for humanity worldwide.
What is MSC? MSC stands for Marine Stewardship Council - and for sustainable fishing. The MSC ecolabel with the little blue fish identifies fish and seafood that comes from sustainable fisheries and is traceable along the supply chain. Fisheries that have been certified as sustainable operate according to these rules:
MSC is the strictest global certification programme for sustainable fisheries. The non-profit organisation has been working for the sustainable use of fish stocks and the protection of marine ecosystems for almost 25 years. Fisheries applying for MSC certification are evaluated for sustainability by independent auditors and continue to be audited annually after successful certification.
What is ASC? ASC stands for Aquaculture Stewardship Council - and for responsible fish farming. The ASC label with the little green fish, co-founded by WWF, identifies fish and seafood that come from environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture and are clearly traceable. ASC labelling is thus the equivalent to the MSC label, just for aquaculture.
The ASC label may only be used on products sourced from fish farmers who have been certified according to the ASC environmental and social standard and thus have proven to comply with the rules:
What does certification to the MSC CoC or ASC CoC Standard mean.
MSC-certified fish is processed separately from conventional products. This is required by the MSC Cain of Custody (CoC) Standard, compliance with this standard is also checked annually by independent auditors such as Ecocert for all operators within the supply chain. MSC CoC certification thus ensures that an MSC-labelled product comes from an MSC fishery and is part of an audited and fully traceable supply chain. The sale and promotion of MSC-certified fish and seafood supports fisheries that are committed to sustainable fishing; it provides additional assurance to buyers and customers. ASC-certified fish is also processed separately from conventional products. This is required by the ASC Chain of Custody (CoC) Standard, compliance with this standard is also checked annually by independent auditors such as Ecocert for all operators within the supply chain. A product labelled with the ASC CoC label comes from an ASC-certified aquaculture farm and is part of an audited supply chain that is fully traceable. The label thus gives companies a competitive advantage and is proof of quality for a market-leading responsibly farmed seafood production programme.
Did you already know? @Ecocert certifies companies according to the MSC CoC or ASC CoC standards and can offer cost-effective combined audits for other certification programmes.
Key figures MSC
Key figures ASC