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MSC fisheries minimize impacts on the Arctic

Staff writer |
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has released clarification of its requirements which ensure that MSC certified fisheries maintain the productivity and diversity of sensitive ecosystems.

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This is following concerns raised by a recent Greenpeace report which claimed that fishing fleets are contributing to Arctic destruction and threatening vulnerable species.

MSC argued that, its certified fisheries in the Barents Sea are some of the most well managed in the world, and they are indeed taking action to ensure the long-term health of sensitive Arctic sea habitats.

Camiel Derichs, director of Europe at MSC, explained: “All MSC certified fisheries must provide science-based data and evidence to independent certifiers to demonstrate that measures are in place to ensure the habitats in which they remain healthy.”

The requirements for habitat protection are robust and require fisheries to demonstrate that they are minimizing their impacts on the ocean floor and ensure the health of marine ecosystems.

MSC said It is widely recognized that these requirements are some of the most credible measurements of environmental sustainability in the world.

It also said that any expansion of fishing activities into new areas would require an assessment to determine that fishing by the certified fleet in the new area continued to meet the MSC standard.

In areas of the Arctic previously covered by sea ice, there can be limited data and research from which to determine the impact of fishing on the newly exposed organisms.

But in these cases fisheries have to apply a precautionary approach in order to be MSC certified. There is no evidence that MSC certified fisheries are operating in areas outside their certificate.

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