/ Sustainable seafood / 20 years of responsible fishing: celebrating the FAO Code of Conduct

20 years of responsible fishing: celebrating the FAO Code of Conduct

Dr David Agnew
Video: Dr David Agnew discusses the importance of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.
David Agnew on October 8, 2015 - 12:08 pm in Sustainable seafood
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In October 1995, 170 nations came together to adopt the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. The document, formulated by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), consists of guidelines for sustainable fisheries management. It represents a global consensus on a range of fisheries and aquaculture issues.

Use of the Code is voluntary, but it has functioned as a guide for many organisations, including the Marine Stewardship Council. In fact, the MSC Fisheries Standard was one of the first models for sustainable fishing to base its requirements on the FAO Code of Conduct, giving fisheries the opportunity to demonstrate their sustainability against internationally recognised best practice.

20 years since the Code’s introduction, MSC Director of Science & Standards, Dr David Agnew, talks about its significance and looks to the future with hope.

Delegates are meeting in Vigo, Spain to celebrate 20 years since the UN FAO first published its Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing on 8-9 October 2015 .  Follow the event on Twitter: #Vigo15

David Agnew

Dr. David Agnew is the Standards Director for the MSC. He is responsible for the development and oversight of MSC’s Fisheries and Chain of Custody Standards.

Prior to joining the MSC, Dr Agnew was the Fisheries Director of the fisheries consultancy MRAG Ltd. He also worked for the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), where he served for 15 years as Principal Scientific Advisor to the UK Government. In this role, he conducted research and advised on management of the South Georgia marine ecosystem and Antarctic fisheries. Dr Agnew is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Fisheries and Population Biology at Imperial College London.
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2 Comments
  • October 10, 2015

    Hi
    I would like to know if you also stand for dolphin safe fishing practices among your certified partners

    Thanks

    Joe Black

    Joe Black
    Reply
    • November 19, 2015

      Hi Joe,

      The key difference between dolphin safe schemes and the MSC is that our Fisheries Standard considers the sustainability of the entire fishery and ecosystem on which it depends. Dolphin-safe labels focus solely on the welfare of dolphin populations.

      All MSC certified fisheries have been through a comprehensive and transparent independent assessment process. Assessments include full accounting of any bycatch species and impact by fishing operations on other species (as well as habitats).

      Andrew

      Andrew Bowman
      Reply
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