Marine Stewardship Council assessments, surveillance and standards improvement
We continue to support the MSC and its assessment methodology as a major system of incentive for better management of fishing and fisheries.
We do this in five principal ways:
- we were involved in the original development of the MSC Principles and Criteria (Ps&Cs), and continue to input into the improvement of the standard providing feedback on how planned changes might impact on assessments, running retrospective analysis on past assessments
- we continue to participate in fishery assessments, pre-assessments and surveillance audits as team leaders and members - in fisheries from the might of the North East Atlantic mackerel and herring fisheries to inshore fisheries for crab and lobsters and canoe fisheries for flat fish, artisanal fisheries for tunas and trawl fisheries for shrimp
- we have pioneered the use of the MSC assessment methodology as an audit tool to identify weaknesses in management and encourage remedial actions - notably in inshore fisheries in England, but also subsequently rolled out to Ireland, Denmark and Australia
- provision of mentoring advice and support to fishery, supply chain and government clients seeking to bring their fisheries to a point where they can enter formal assessment to the MSC standard - notably in the Gambia, Suriname and Guyana
- innovation in exploration of new approaches to dealing with data-poor fisheries - ranging from building low-cost methodologies for stock assessment, to graphically communicating Harvest Control Rule options and impacts; strengthening institutional capacities in both the private sector and government and how they interact, to designing practical and cost-effective approaches to good science and evidence provision - with practical examples in developed and developing economies.
We continue our involvement in assessment and surveillance of large- and small-scale small pelagic fisheries in the North East Atlantic, having been first involved in these processes back in 2005 with examination of the Astrid Fiske North Sea herring fishery, and the SPSG North Sea herring and North East Atlantic mackerel fishery; our most recent involvement is with the pelagic fisheries of the Northern Ireland fleet.