MSC certification

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), set up in 1997 by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Unilever, is currently the most advanced certification system for fish and seafood, but also the most controversial. At a global level, 2,500 seafood products have the MSC’s blue eco-certification: 4% of the global catch recorded by the FAO. Products currently in the evaluation stage represent another 3% of the global catch.


In collaboration with Unilever, the WWF is working on a certification system for aquaculture products modeled on the Marine Stewardship Council. The new scheme, to be called the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, should be ready in a year or two.

Many NGOs are fiercely opposed to this plan. They claim that certification projects for shrimp or salmon farms only serve the interests of big business and are financed, at least in part, by the food industry, and in particular Unilever.

The organizations also accuse the WWF of not taking into account the interests of local people who live in the farming zones and refusing to invite community representatives from the six regions of the world most affected by aquaculture to their discussions.


To find out more, read about the WWF’s round-table discussions on the subject: Aquaculture Dialogues