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MSC Marine Stewardship Council

MSC (Marine Stewardship Council​) certification is a tool that facilitates the evolution process of fishing fleets and their supply chains towards sustainable fishing in order to assure a future to the marine environment and to the operators who depend on it.

The sea is a source of very important food resources that today is threatened by a level of exploitation that risks compromising the natural renewal and future preservation of fish species, their biodiversity and the marine ecosystem.

To address this situation, the European Union recently developed a Common Fisheries Policy, applicable to operators in all member states, constituting a significant evolution of the fishing management and control methods.


  • Diversification of marine species, associating this with a sustainability message from fishing to the table
  • guarantee of fishing sustainability towards large retailers and buyers
  • guarantee for consumers that the fish they buy was caught applying fishing methods that can preserve stocks, protected and unprotected species, marine mammals and other animals, as well as the overall environment
  • assure fishing organisation members and institutional and non-institutional stakeholders that current regulations are observed.


With extensive experience in the certification of fish products, RINA SERVICES is accredited for the MSC Chain of Custody standard which focuses on the chain of custody assuring the traceability of certified fish.

Significant proof of our skills can be found in the certification experience of the Argentinean anchovy in Morocco, as well as in numerous training and management projects for companies in the fish sector promoted by the Italian regional governments of Sicily, Sardinia and Puglia.


Marine Stewardship Council certification comprises two independent standards:
  • MSC Fishery - applicable to wild-capture fisheries
  • MSC Chain of Custody - for the traceability in the supply chain of the fishery products originating from sustainable fisheries or aquaculture (MSC Fishery o ASC - Aquaculture Stewardship Council certified)
The certification procedure is performed by a qualified team of auditors and professionals in the fish sector (biologists, vets, experts in fishing methods and standards) and involves the following steps:
  • MSC Fishery Standard:
    • Optional pre-assessment
    • Certification assessment (Full-assessment)
    • Annual surveillance
    • Five-year recertification
  • MSC Chain of Custody Standard:
    • Certification audit
    • Surveillance audits – frequency is defined at every audit
    • Three-year recertification


How credible is MSC certification?
MSC certification is based on the most accredited environmental sustainability codes: FAO codes for sustainable fishing and ecolabelling; ISEAL code; WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement.

What impact does it have on the community?
One characteristic of the MSC program is the involvement of all stakeholders. Obtaining certification is therefore a success that is appreciated and shared at public level.

Is this certification recognised by the organised distribution channel?
Numerous international retailers recognise and host the MSC ecolabel. These include: ALDI, Carrefour, Hallmark, LIDL, Sainsbury’s, SPAR, Wal-Mart, Whole Foods Market.
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