FAQ

What do I need to do to sell my lobster as MSC certified?

 If you buy at the wharf and only sell to other local companies that process or export lobster then you need to:

  • Join the NS/NB Eco-certification Society or the PEI Eco-certification Society (a sharing agreement will allow for access to lobster from each province and an agreement is being considered with the client groups in the state of Maine).
  • Ensure the paperwork that accompanies your sales confirm the origin of the lobster (by LFA and by port).

If you buy at the wharf and export or sell lobster outside the fishery client group you need to:

  • Join the NS/NB Eco-certification Society, and
  • Call an independent certifier to schedule an audit for a MSC Chain of Custody (CoC) certificate.

If you are a processor/live shipper/exporter, and sell product to a customer who wants to receive it as MSC certified, or sell to consumers you need to:

  • Join the NS/NB Eco-certification Society or the PEI Eco-certification Society, and
  • Call an independent certifier to schedule an audit for a MSC Chain of Custody certificate

If you do any of the above and you wish to use the MSC ecolabel as well you need to contact the MSC to:

  • Arrange for an Ecolabel User License.

Here are some other descriptions to help:

  • Companies buying at the wharf who only sell to other local companies that are members of the fishery client groups do not require MSC CoC unless they also ship outside the region. These lobster buyers/dealers/etc are required to join the fishery client group for their provincial area.
  • All movements of lobster among members of the fishery client group (from wharf to live shipper or processor) are covered by traceability considerations within the fishery certificate and do not require MSC CoC. Companies handling these movements may require CoC if they send any lobster to companies outside the fishery client group list (and wish to make the claim MSC certified on those lobster).

What are the roles and responsibilities for everyone in the lobster sector?

  • Harvesters: Support your association’s efforts as a member of the fishery client group (Society), participate in any new requests for information arising from the MSC certificate and conditions, and continue to fish sustainably in accordance with all DFO rules.
  • Harvester Association: Continue to belong to and support the Eco-certification Society in your area and work with your harvesters to deliver information arising from the MSC certificate and conditions.
  • Buyer/dealer with Chain of Custody certificate: Contact an independent certifier to become MSC Chain of Custody certified (information is at www.msc.org), follow MSC CoC rules for purchasing, holding and selling lobster from the MSC certified fisheries.
  • Other buyer/dealers: Join the Eco-certification Society in your area, keep good records of your purchases and supply the required information to your customer for their Chain of Custody certificate requirements.
  • Processor/live shipper: Contact an independent certifier for information about Chain of Custody (or look at www.msc.org), follow MSC CoC rules for purchasing, holding and selling lobster from the MSC certified fisheries. Require buyers/dealers who are members of one of the Eco-certification Societies but who do not have a CoC certificate to provide you information with your purchases to confirm the lobster came from a certified fishery.

What is the cost to become certified?

If in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick the cost to joining the Fisheries Certificate is an annual fee payable to the NS/NB Lobster Eco-certification Society. The fee varies depending on whether you are a dealer/buyer; processor; harvester or live shipper.

If in PEI the cost to joining the Fisheries Certificate is an annual fee payable to the PEI Eco-Certification Society.

The cost to getting an independent  Chain of Custody audit is between $1,500 – $2,500 annually.

There is also a cost to use the MSC ecoloabel which is payable to MSC.  Contact is chris.bolwig@msc.org.

  • Wholesale and promotion – annual flat fee of £160, £800 or £1,600 depending on size of business
  • Any packaging that will be sold “consumer-facing” packaging – in addition to the flat fee there is a royalty charge of 0.5% of wholesale sales value.

For more information…

For complete information please contact a Chain of Custody certifier and refer to Public Certification Reports for these fisheries found on www.msc.org.

For general questions about MSC contact Jay Lugar Tel: #902 492 2469 or 206 496 9972 Email: jay.lugar@msc.org

NS/NB Lobster Eco-certification Society client group contact Geoff Irvine at the Lobster Council of Canada Tel: #902 423 1155 Email: geoff.irvine@lobstercouncilcanada.ca

PEI MSC Lobster Stakeholder Association client group contact Ian MacPherson at the PEIFA Tel: #902 566 4050 Email: managerpeifa@pei.eastlink.ca

To arrange an audit of your facility for Chain of Custody, contact one of the auditing companies below: