This was a forward-looking review of certification’s prospects for improving fishing’s contribution to sustainable development in developing countries. There is now an extensive body of MSC experience in certification worldwide. Given increasing pressures on fisheries resources, and the needs of many poor groups for fishing to support paths out of poverty, this provided a timely study to learn from this experience and propose new strategies.
The review considers a number of issues: an exploration of the current market for sustainable seafood and the potential for scaling this up; an overview of the MSC standard, the MSC developing world program and other MSC-relevant tools and activities; exploration of the drivers and barriers for small-scale developing world fisheries to achieve certification; and an exploration of the impacts of the MSC scheme for developing world fisheries. Where fisheries have not met the MSC standard the review considers current initiatives to move fisheries towards MSC certification.
The report provides recommendations for further research questions that need to be answered to better understand the drivers and enabling factors for small-scale developing world fisheries to engage successfully with certification and how MSC and other stakeholders can support that transition.