A growing trend by consumers around the world is to value socially responsible companies that work to minimize impacts to the environment. Eco-certification is an independent review of fisheries management and stock sustainability in a fishery that volunteers for assessment against an internationally accepted standard and once successful the fishery can use an eco-label to demonstrate compliance to customers. Companies handling the product in the supply chain are also able to apply eco-labels under specific standards. As consumer and retailers demand for sustainable products increases, eco-certification can maintain a fishery’s positive reputation, increase its value, and strengthen its ties to global markets
Increasingly it has been important for fisheries around the world to work with international accreditation organizations to provide third party eco-certification.The Canadian lobster sector has chosen to work with the internationally well known Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). All inshore Lobster Fishing Area’s (LFA’s), except for those around Newfoundland and Labrador, now involved with the program. The Canadian offshore fishery has been certified since 2010.
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation established to address the problem of unsustainable fishing and safeguard seafood supplies for the future.To achieve MSC certification, a group of industry stakeholders hires an accredited certifier to perform an independent third-party assessment of a fishery. Using science based MSC standards, a team of subject matter experts review the fishery to ensure it maintains sustainable fish stocks, minimizes environmental impacts, and is managed effectively. Once the fishery is MSC certified, the blue eco-label can be used throughout the supply chain as long as all companies have an MSC Chain of Custody certificate. As well the certified fishery will be audited annually to ensure it continues to meet MSC certification standards and addresses any conditions attached to the certificate.