October is National Seafood Month and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is taking the opportunity to push consumers to support sustainable fishing. MSC, an international non-profit organization focused on creating a healthier future for Earth’s oceans, encourages shoppers to purchase seafood bearing the group’s blue fish label.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reports that overfishing continues to increase, with 34% of global fish stocks being overexploited. At the same time, consumers demand more from businesses, 55% of US seafood consumers agree that we “must consume seafood only from sustainable sources to protect the ocean”.
To enable consumers to recognize sustainably sourced seafood, MSC has developed the Blue Fish label which can be found on branded and private label products. Walmart Great Value Private Label passed certification on its canned tuna earlier this year. There are currently 421 MSCs certified fisheries worldwide, accounting for 14% of the global wild seafood catch.
In the United States, there are 75 MSC-certified fisheries, which source scallops, squid and swordfish from the Atlantic, blue crab, menhaden and oysters in the Gulf, and prawns, groundfish and salmon from the Pacific.
“This Seafood Month, MSC shines a spotlight on the community of people working to make the ocean healthier tomorrow than it is today,” said Jackie Marks, public relations manager at MSC . “Consumers want more sustainable options, and by choosing MSC Blue Fish labeled products, they are supporting the people who are doing what it takes for the future of our ocean. A great blue future is one where the oceans are healthy, fish populations thrive, and consumers can feel good about their seafood choices. ”
The MSC blue fish label can only be applied to wild-caught seafood from a fishery that has been independently assessed for its impacts on wild fish populations and the ecosystems of which they are a part. Working with fisheries and companies that source MSC-certified seafood, consumers who choose MSC-labeled products can “help improve the health of the oceans and ensure wild seafood for generations to come.” .