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There sustainable fishing it is the only necessary choice that will allow us to deliver oceans full of life and in good health to the next generations.
Unfortunately, fishing techniques that violate the rules to protect the oceans are increasingly widespread, also due to the persistent global economic crisis, and often difficult to counter.
Marine Stewardship Council (MSC - Sustainable Fishing) is an international non-profit organization founded in 1997 in London and active in 20 countries around the world including Italy, committed to combating illegal fishing and conserving marine resources.
MSC's work involves scientists, researchers and international experts in the fishing sector and proposes certification for sustainable fishing, based on principles and criteria aligned with those of FAO and ISEAL and aimed at measuring the level of sustainability of the various types of fishing.
There sustainable fishing it is defined as such when it is practiced ensuring the balance between the level of catches and the renewal of species and the conservation of the ecosystem.
Sustainable fishing: how to get certified
To get the certification, a fisherman or a fleet of fishing vessels must be able to demonstrate, with scientific data on species and ecosystems, and document, through its acquisition and management strategy, that:
1) The fishing carried out leaves enough fish in the sea to ensure that the stock can reproduce and the fishing activity can thus continue over time.
2) Fishing is done in a way that minimizes its impact, allowing underwater plants and animals to thrive.
3) Fishing is managed responsibly and in compliance with applicable laws. Ensuring good management practices means, for example, that corrective action is taken in the case of declining fish stocks.
Here is the official video of MSC that explains the three criteria for sustainable fishing to be respected in order to obtain certification:
Unfortunately, to date, only 1 in 10 fish that end up on our tables comes from sustainable fishing according to MSC standards. Certified fish is in fact about 10% of the entire world catch but progress is beginning to show: over 300 fishermen, in 36 countries around the world, have obtained the MSC certification for sustainable fishing and program members continue to increase.
The MSC certification process is transparent and independent: it is based on the principle of the evaluation of an independent third party certifying body and is open to public consultation at various stages.
MSC rewards the best fishing practices with its labeling and certification program, helping to create a sustainable seafood market and protecting consumer health, both in the case of individuals and restaurants or school and company canteens.
Sustainable Fishing: the central role of the consumer
In order to spread the practice of sustainable fishing, the purchasing behavior of us consumers plays a fundamental role: by preferring certified fish in our purchases we can generate a virtuous circle as a growing demand for products deriving from sustainable fishing will stimulate more and more fishermen to join. to the MSC certification program.
The virtuous circle of certified sustainable fishing
The fish products available on the shelves of supermarkets (present in the categories fresh, frozen, canned, smoked and pet food) and in the menus of various restaurants with the blue MSC brand are today over 20,000: the choice is not lacking and the certified products will continue to increase, especially if we all strive to support the sustainable fishing.