In 2010 the MSC commissioned MRAG, in collaboration with Poseidon and Meridian Prime, to examine the evidence for environmental impacts related to the MSC certification programme. This project built on previous work examining the environmental benefits of certification, developed scientifically robust tools and replicable methodologies to measure environmental/ecological impacts of certification to the MSC standard. The project used these tools to assess evidence about environmental impact of the MSC programme, and to investigate evidence for the wider impacts of certification on environmental sustainability.
The fisheries included were from around the world and those that had been through the MSC certification process. The analysis was completed in three main areas: 1) on the data from pre-assessments 2) data from post-certification stage 3) looking at wider impacts of the MSC programme. An important element of the project was the consultation exercise, which saw over 50 interviews conducted with relevant stakeholders in each of the fisheries included in the study, and which was used to enhance all areas of the project.
Results from the monitoring of the pre-assessments, full assessments and surveillance/reassessments, provided information on the changes occurring within fisheries pre-certification (between pre-assessment and certification) and post-certification (between certification and the final audit report) stages. Analysis was completed using both the assessment data and the actual indicator data for all of the fisheries.