What does sustainable fishing really mean?

by Catherine Longo
MSC Impacts research manager Catherine Longo explains how scientists determine sustainability.
Shoal of fish near the surface of the ocean

“Sustainable fishing” may sound simple, but measuring whether or not a fishing operation is sustainable is actually quite complex, requiring plenty of research and data.

Fisheries scientists dedicate their time to studying how fishing can be balanced so as to allow aquatic species to maintain thriving populations, in a dynamically fluctuating and changing environment. Decades of research and managers’ experiences, trying to apply scientific advice on the ground, have shaped current practices in monitoring and managing fisheries sustainably.

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Credible ecolabels create consumer trust

by Camiel Derichs
Camiel Derichs, Regional Director of Europe at the MSC, on why setting minimum requirements for seafood ecolabels is a good idea.
Assortment of fish at fish counter in Germany

Recent independent market research shows that globally 63% of seafood consumers look for ecolabels for a trusted source of information. The MSC has earned this trust. Since our formation in 1997, we have developed the world’s most recognised certification and ecolabelling program for sustainable wild-caught seafood.

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Tuna, FADs and bycatch

by Dr Adrian Gutteridge
Tuna specialist and fisheries assessment manager, Dr Adrian Gutteridge on Fish Aggregating Devices.
Albacore Tuna © Dr Lindsay Marshall www.stickfigurefish.com.au

Global campaigns for sustainable tuna fishing have called for a ban on the use of Fish Aggregating Devices – also known as FADs. However, ‘FAD’ does not always mean ‘bad’. The impacts of this fishing practice need to be considered in the context of that particular fishery and ecosystem.

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Are some types of fishing gear more sustainable than others?

by Shaun McLennan
Shaun McLennan explains why there’s no simple way to differentiate between the sustainability of various fishing gear types and methods.
Trawl fishing boat ©1001slide/iStock

Before joining the MSC in February 2016, I spent 3 and a bit years working for the UK government as fishery manager. One of my roles was to assess the impacts that different fishing techniques have on protected marine environments. As with many elements of fisheries management, the answer to the question: “Which fishing method is most environmentally-sound?” isn’t as simple as it may seem.

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How DNA testing works

by James Simpson
James Simpson breaks down the science behind the MSC's DNA testing program.
DNA testing

When you look at a piece of meat, or a piece of fish, it’s often difficult to tell what species it is. Turn it into a pie or a fish cake and the difficult becomes the impossible. That’s where DNA testing helps. With a sample half a centimetre wide dropped into a little tube of preservative, you can find out if your fish is what the packet says, or if it is something else. It’s not even very expensive.

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