Assure buyers, retailers and general consumers that your wild-capture fishery conforms to internationally recognized standards for environmental sustainability with Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification. SCS Global Services brings over ten years of successful certification experience to the assessment of your marine or fresh water fishery operation.
Our MSC certifications are thorough and competently executed so that your certification stands up to stakeholder, scientific and industry scrutiny. We have successfully certified operations ranging from large commercial fisheries to small community-based operations - more than two million metric tons of fish and shellfish worldwide, from Alaska to Antarctica.
Sign up for our Sustainable Seafood Update.
Any freshwater or marine fishery - regardless of size, scale, ecology, or geography - can seek certification. Eligible wild-capture fisheries include, but are not limited to:
Eligible applicants include individuals, organizations, companies, government agencies, industry associations and local management authorities. The MSC has a program specifically designed to facilitate the participation of developing countries in certification.
Fisheries must meet or exceed the minimum standards in the following three areas:
SCS also offers the convenience of combined MSC Chain of Custody audits with HACCP inspections through our Seafood Safety auditing programs. We also provide custom services for retail clients interested in having their in-house seafood program standards validated.
Aquaculture fish farms may be certified under the Aquaculture Stewardship Council Standards.
We can conduct pre-assessments for your fishery operation in preparation for a full assessment. Pre-assessments allow clients to gauge their likely conformity to the MSC standard and identify any improvements needed. This allows clients to demonstrate their firm commitment to supplying MSC product to their buyers.
A pre-assessment includes:
We offer full assessments for fisheries ready to proceed through the full MSC certification process. The extent and cost of the full assessment will be contingent on the number and type of improvements identified through the pre-assessment.
Apply for Certification
Submit your application. You receive the SCS Assessment Services Agreement. Complete, sign, and return.
Authorize a Work Order
We prepare a work order that includes the scope, costs and details of the audit. Authorize the work order, and schedule your evaluation audit.
SCS evaluates the qualifications of your fishery operation and determines what risks, if any, may limit your ability to successfully complete a rigorous and comprehensive assessment.
An independent assessment team reviews documentation, interviews stakeholders and evaluates your fishery against specific performance indicators that relate to the health of the stock, the impacts on the ecosystem and the management system structures and functions.
Audit Report and Public Comment
The SCS certification team then writes a draft report, which is reviewed by you and two independent peer reviewers. The report is then posted for public comment.
After considering all comments, a final report is released that includes the final decision on whether or not to award certification. If no objections have been raised, the public certification report is published and your fishery receives a certificate from SCS.
Certification is valid for 5 years, subject to annual surveillance audits.
More details are available on the MSC website.
A growing number of food retailers, restaurants and institutions are seeking MSC certified fish and seafood. Potential advantages of MSC certification include:
Selected MSC responsible fishery clients assessed through SCS Global Services include:
MSC certification is one of the best ways for fisheries to protect marine resources. Certification can give fisheries access to supply chains that require MSC certified seafood. The MSC program is the most robust certification scheme for wild-capture fisheries in the market. Increasingly, companies and governments that value environmental responsibility are requiring MSC certification. MSC certification can also result in potential for price premiums and improved fisheries management.
MSC Certification can be a challenging standard to meet. A preliminary assessment conducted by SCS is the best way to determine whether you are ready for a full certification evaluation.
The cost of certification varies depending on the complexity and size of the fishery. Another key factor is how prepared the fishery is for assessment. Contact SCS for a custom price quote and to find out about pre-assessments.
The average time for an assessment is 18 months, but timing can vary greatly. Factors that influence duration of assessments include access to records and complexity of the fishery. SCS prides itself on fast turnaround of assessment materials and will work with clients to create an efficient assessment plan.
Fisheries can be certified for a maximum period of 5 years, subject to annual surveillance audits.