Assessment of MSC-certified fish stocks in the Northeast Atlantic.

Opitz, Silvia, Hoffmann, Julia, Quaas, Martin, Matz-Lück, Nele, Binohlan, Crispina and Froese, Rainer (2016) Assessment of MSC-certified fish stocks in the Northeast Atlantic. Marine Policy, 71 . pp. 10-14. DOI 10.1016/j.marpol.2016.05.003.

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Abstract

This study examines the status and exploitation level of 31 northern European stocks targeted by fisheries certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as being sustainable and well managed. In the first year of certification, 11 stocks (52% of stocks with available data) were exploited above the maximum sustainable level and four stocks (16% of stocks with available data) were outside of safe biological limits. MSC states that it certifies sub-standard stocks because they will improve once they are in their program. However, after a duration of certification of one to ten years (average four years), no significant changes in fishing pressure or stock size were detected. In the last certified year with available data, seven stocks (44% of stocks with available data) were subject to overfishing and five stocks (21% of stocks with available data) were outside of safe biological limits. Certification should guarantee that fishing quotas are set correctly and are enforced. However, in 11 stocks quotas were set 20–60% above the level that fishers were taking, whereas in three stocks landings exceeded quotas by 30–50%. The study concludes that MSC should change its rules such that overfishing or unsafe stock sizes lead to immediate suspension of certification and that no certification is issued in the first place for a stock that is already in such a situation.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: MSC-certified stocks; Northeast Atlantic; Overfishing; Total allowable catch
Research affiliation: Kiel University > Kiel Marine Science
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Marine Evolutionary Ecology
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R03
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R02
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R01
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.marpol.2016.05.003
ISSN: 0308-597X
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 31 May 2016 09:34
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 15:03
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/32957

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