New research suggests that the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) sutainable fishery certification label may not be reliable.
The MSC — a joint project between the World Wildlife Fund and Unilever — is one of the largest and most trusted labeling bodies for sustainable seafood. Producers applying for certification from MSC pay a fee of between $15,000 and $120,000.
According to a study set to appear in the May issue of Biological Conservation, however, a large portion of the fish MSC deems sustainable is likely to be mislabeled.
The study’s authors argue that the organization’s certification standards are not strict enough to ensure sustainability. What is more, of 19 cases filed against the fisheries and investigated by the MSC, only one was removed from the certification.
MSC has fired back, stating that a third of the researchers involved on the study were connected with filing complaints. In a statement released to Huffington Post, MSC’s Regional Director for the Americas Kerry Coughlin has assured consumers the MSC label is trustworthy.