United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Incentivising Sustainable Fisheries Through Certification

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Non-governmental organization (NGO)
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    Description
    Description

    More than 20 years after the adoption of the United Nations Agreement for Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks the FAO reports that more than 30% of global fish stocks remain overexploited. The World Bank estimates that the lost economic value resulting from poor management of fisheries was about $80billion in 2012, and although there have been significant improvements in stock status in some areas, many fisheries continue to require improvement.

    The background note of the Secretary General to the preparatory process of the United Nations Conference recognised that market based measures such as certification and ecolabelling schemes have an important role to play in incentivising and rewarding the improvement that fisheries make to become sustainable. The MSC is globally recognised as being a leader in wild capture certification, and to date some 10 million tonnes of marine capture production has been certified as meeting the MSC’s Fishery Standard. Combined with 1.5 million tonnes in assessment, this amounts to 14% of global marine capture production being engaged with the program.

    Certified fisheries cover most global traded species and many of the world’s most important large marine ecosystems (LMEs). However, there is still work to do, particularly with fisheries from emerging economies and those operating in biodiverse tropical marine ecosystems.

    MSC commits to working with fisheries, supply chains and market partners, and to collaborating with other organisations and engaging consumers, to incentivise an acceleration of improvements in marine fisheries within the timeframe of the SDG goals. With this commitment marine fisheries will increasingly operate within sustainable limits, improve livelihoods and food security of those that depend on them, and contribute to marine ecosystem resilience.

    Partners

    Marine Stewardship Council

    Quantify
    Currently 12% of global marine wild capture tonnage comes from fisheries that are certified to the MSC standard, and 2% from fisheries that are otherwise engaged with the program leading up to certification (in assessment, or in transitionary improvement programs). The target of 20% by 2020 will be delivered through a combination of working with key partners worldwide from the NGO and Industry sectors and deepening our engagement in new regions and markets, particularly in the Global South.

    Goal 12

    Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

    Goal 12

    12.1

    Implement the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns, all countries taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries

    12.1.1

    Number of countries developing, adopting or implementing policy instruments aimed at supporting the shift to sustainable consumption and production

    12.2

    By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources

    12.2.1

    Material footprint, material footprint per capita, and material footprint per GDP

    12.2.2

    Domestic material consumption, domestic material consumption per capita, and domestic material consumption per GDP

    12.3

    By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses

    12.3.1

    (a) Food loss index and (b) food waste index

    12.4

    By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment

    12.4.1
    Number of parties to international multilateral environmental agreements on hazardous waste, and other chemicals that meet their commitments and obligations in transmitting information as required by each relevant agreement
    12.4.2

    (a) Hazardous waste generated per capita; and (b) proportion of hazardous waste treated, by type of treatment

    12.5

    By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse

    12.5.1

    National recycling rate, tons of material recycled

    12.6

    Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle

    12.6.1
    Number of companies publishing sustainability reports

    12.7

    Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities

    12.7.1

    Number of countries implementing sustainable public procurement policies and action plans

    12.8

    By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

    12.8.1

    Extent to which (i) global citizenship education and (ii) education for sustainable development are mainstreamed in (a) national education policies; (b) curricula; (c) teacher education; and (d) student assessment

    12.a

    Support developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production

    12.a.1

    Installed renewable energy-generating capacity in developing countries (in watts per capita)

    12.b

    Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products

    12.b.1

    Implementation of standard accounting tools to monitor the economic and environmental aspects of tourism sustainability

    12.c

    Rationalize inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption by removing market distortions, in accordance with national circumstances, including by restructuring taxation and phasing out those harmful subsidies, where they exist, to reflect their environmental impacts, taking fully into account the specific needs and conditions of developing countries and minimizing the possible adverse impacts on their development in a manner that protects the poor and the affected communities

    12.c.1

    Amount of fossil-fuel subsidies (production and consumption) per unit of GDP

    Goal 14

    Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

    Goal 14

    14.1

    By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution

    14.1.1

    (a) Index of coastal eutrophication; and (b) plastic debris density

    14.2

    By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans

    14.2.1

    Number of countries using ecosystem-based approaches to managing marine areas

    14.3

    Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels

    14.3.1
    Average marine acidity (pH) measured at agreed suite of representative sampling stations

    14.4

    By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics

    14.4.1
    Proportion of fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels

    14.5

    By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information

    14.5.1
    Coverage of protected areas in relation to marine areas

    14.6

    By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation

    14.6.1

    Degree of implementation of international instruments aiming to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

    14.7

    By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism

    14.7.1

    Sustainable fisheries as a proportion of GDP in small island developing States, least developed countries and all countries

    14.a

    Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries

    14.a.1
    Proportion of total research budget allocated to research in the field of marine technology

    14.b

    Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets

    14.b.1

    Degree of application of a legal/regulatory/policy/institutional framework which recognizes and protects access rights for small‐scale fisheries

    14.c

    Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of "The future we want"

    14.c.1

    Number of countries making progress in ratifying, accepting and implementing through legal, policy and institutional frameworks, ocean-related instruments that implement international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, for the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and their resources

    Name Description
    14.4 <p>By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics</p>
    14.7 <p>By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism</p>

    By 2020, increase the tonnage of marine wild capture fish that comes from fisheries that are certified to the MSC standard, or are otherwise engaged with the program leading up to certification, from 14% to 20%.

    In 2030, MSC is a leading catalyst for improved fisheries management and market transformation, contributing to the sustainable use of our oceans, supporting resilience, food security and livelihoods, with more than 1/3 of global marine catch certified or engaged in the MSC program.

    In-kind contribution
    MSC global staff, engagement and capacity building activities. Details of quantities and activities are given in MSC Annual Reports.
    Title Progress Status Submitted
    Partnership Progress 2020-09-07 On track 07 September, 2020
    Partnership Progress 2019-04-15 On track 15 April, 2019
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    Timeline
    01 January 1970 (start date)
    01 January 1970 (date of completion)
    Entity
    Marine Stewardship Council
    SDGs
    Geographical coverage
    London, UK
    Ocean Basins
    Global
    Communities of Ocean Action
    Sustainable fisheries, Sustainable blue economy
    Countries
    N/A
    Contact Information

    David Agnew, Director of Science and Standards