Involvement in pre-assessments of fisheries to the Marine Stewardship Council standard

consultants.co.uk/news/index.html?fa=view&id=47&page=3&archived=t previously, Nautilus has joined forces with the dedicated fisheries and fish farming certification body Food Certification International to undertake assessment and certification to the standards of the Marine Stewardship Council – that product bearing the MSC logo comes from “well-managed and sustainable fisheries ” (click here for further details).

Crick Carleton, Chief Executive of Nautilus has been “involved in this process since the early days of the MSC, and was invited to participate in the Airlie House deliberations from which the current Principles and Criteria that make up the standard were delivered. This has drawn on his own and the company’s fisheries development work in over 80 countries around the globe, and his special interest in the economic and socio-economic dimensions of sustainability. Since then Crick has been invited on a regular basis to contribute advice on MSC policy and strategy formation in areas of small-scale and developing country fisheries, aquaculture and chain of custody certification.

Food Certification Scotland (the parent body of Food Certification International) is an independently accredited third party certification body whose operating, certification and control procedures conform to the requirements of European Standard EN45011 for bodies operating product certification schemes. FCS has specialised for many years in the certification of fish and fish products, and “is the largest certification body dedicated to certification of fisheries, fish farming and fish products in the UK". It is approved or accredited to certify to nine international standards, and to provide inspection-only services for a further four standards.

We are pleased to announce that we have now been contracted to undertake our first four pre-assessments – confidential exercises where we take a look at candidate fisheries and establish the likelihood that if presented for full assessment the “fishery would comply with the Principles and Criteria of the MSC and achieve an overall score of 80 or above against each of the three Principles of the MSC". This is no easy task, and is one of the reasons why the MSC standard is being increasingly referred to as the “gold standard” when it comes to establishing the sustainability credentials of individual fisheries. As part of the pre-assessment exercise we seek to identify sticking points with regard to the MSC Ps & Cs, advise what preparatory work a client will need to undertake before entering a fishery for full assessment, and, of course, advise the client as to whether or not we consider the fishery suitable for full assessment.

As of now something like a dozen fisheries have been certified to the MSC standard, and a further dozen or so are in the process of full assessment – details can be viewed under the “fisheries” tab on the MSC website (www.msc.org). But in the “pipe-line” we are aware that something in the order of a further 30 fisheries around the world have been submitted for confidential pre-assessment. In time FCI / Nautilus are looking forward to taking some of those fisheries that they have pre-assessed forward to full assessment, and to building up their specialist MSC assessment team as more candidate fisheries come forward.