17% of global catches at sea comes from sustainable fisheries

“Promising progress”. This is the way the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) describes the steps taken globally in the last two years to obtain seafood sustainably, according to their report ‘Celebrating and supporting sustainable fisheries’, which analyses 2019 and 2020 data. The data state that in these two years more than 17% of global marine catches were from fisheries linked to their programme, i.e., which have obtained their sustainability certification. This figure implies an increase of over two million tonnes compared to the previous campaign which amounted to 12.2 million tonnes.

In addition, the report also makes it clear that the number of companies dedicated to the production, processing and supply of seafood with MSC certification is noticeably increasing likewise consumer demand. This is evidenced by the fact that retail sales of MSC labelled products have globally surpassed 10 billion dollars for the first time, i.e. indicating consumers´ growing demand for sustainable products.

Other data confirming the focus on sustainable fishery is that now 28% of the global tuna catch is certified to the MSC Standard, the global tuna market value is worth more than 42 billion dollars a year and 65% of global tuna stocks are assessed as healthy, and the trend towards sustainability continues upwards.

“Increasing our efforts”

In fact, this report has been drafted amidst a wave of concern over ocean health and when United Nations has denounced that one third of fish stocks are overfished, which is a worsening trend. Said information reveals the need to increase those good sustainable practices to address the great challenges oceans face. In fact, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) states that sustainable fisheries are more productive and resilient to change. Likewise, a UN report revealed sustainable fishing protects ocean biodiversity.

“We are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic that still wreaks enormous suffering on people besides causing serious economic damage. Nevertheless, this crisis is also an opportunity to shift the foundations of our economies to more sustainable and equitable ones. Ensuring thriving oceans for future generations is an essential component”, encourages Rupert Howes, MSC CEO. “We cannot afford to slip back, we must increase our efforts, engage more fisheries, reach new markets and drive further improvements through the leadership of our collaborators. Let us use this opportunity to redouble our efforts and deliver”, concludes Howes.