Marine Stewardship Council
Toby Middleton is UK Commercial Manager for the Marine Stewardship Council. He contributed to development of the sustainable fish commitment in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Food Vision and has been helping to develop the Sustainable Fish City campaign, working with colleagues from other sustainable seafood, conservation and environmental organisations.
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation set up to promote solutions to the problem of overfishing. The MSC runs the only certification and ecolabelling programme for wild-capture fisheries consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation guidelines for fisheries certification. The FAO ‘Guidelines for the Eco-labelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries' require that credible fishery certification and eco-labelling schemes include:
- Objective, third-party fishery assessment utilising scientific evidence;
- Transparent processes with built-in stakeholder consultation and objection procedures;
- Standards based on the sustainability of target species, ecosystems and management practices.
In total, over 230 fisheries are engaged in the MSC programme with 98 certified and over 130 under full assessment. Another 40 to 50 fisheries are in confidential pre-assessment. Together, fisheries already certified or in full assessment record annual catches of close to seven million metric tonnes of seafood, representing over 12 per cent of global capture production for direct human consumption. The fisheries already certified catch close to five million metric tonnes of seafood annually - over seven per cent of the total wild capture for direct human consumption. Worldwide, more than 7,000 seafood products, which can be traced back to the certified sustainable fisheries, bear the blue MSC ecolabel.
Toby says, "Consumer Interest in MSC certified fish has rocketed over the past two years with recent figures showing a 60% increase in recognition of the MSC ecolabel in the UK. Nearly one in five people now recognise the MSC ecolabel."
Sustainable Fish City will help put MSC-certified seafood at the heart of buying policies for London's suppliers, caterers and shops, helping to support a responsible approach to fishery management and fishing practices, worldwide.
To find out more about the work of the Marine Stewardship Council, visit: http://www.msc.org/
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Fish Fight
I have been travelling around the UK meeting fishermen, marine conservationists, politicians, supermarkets bosses, and of course fish-eating members of the public. It has changed the way I think about fish.
Raymond Blanc OBE, Chef Patron, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
Good ethics should be part of everyday business. Many restaurants and caterers in this are helping to protect our precious marine resources. They should get rightful recognition and inspire others to do the same.
Rosie Boycott, London Food Board
Taking a sustainable approach to fish is critical to the food security of our city. It is shocking to think that within our lifetimes, we could lose some of our favourite species from the seas forever.