Sustainability Seal MSC does not adequately protect whales and seabirds

Study again reveals serious deficiencies in the seal for fish products

A recent study by the NABU umbrella organization Birdlife International documents serious shortcomings of the world-renowned seafood product seal Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Only 13 percent of the fisheries surveyed received a good grade.

"That's too little for the claim of a sustainability seal," said NABU's Managing Director Leif Miller. "If you go for a sustainability seal, you want to make sure that your purchase does not compromise the marine environment and lead to the pointless death of whales and seabirds, which is not always guaranteed at MSC, so we urge MSC to initiate reforms as soon as possible and give the highest priority to the protection of rare and endangered species."

The bycatch of so-called "non-target species" is a worldwide problem and hundreds of thousands of victims have to be counted year after year. Sharks and sea turtles die of hooked longlines or dolphins and seabirds drown in gills that are invisible to them. The Birdlife study examined 23 different fisheries using MSC's own publications. The data quality and the review of the fisheries were compared, as well as whether there are effective bycatch measures that are successfully implemented.

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Link to the study (PDF file):