Status of MSC Certification

This outlines the principal, simplified steps of the MSC Process along with approximate dates. We encourage all stakeholders who are interested in participating in the process to read the full official detailed process at the MSC site dedicated to our fishery.


–     STEP 1:  Announcement, Compilation of Expert Team, Stakeholder Identification.  (Nov/Dec 2014) The Fishery announced that we entered into full assessment on Nov 6, 2014. This step includes the announcement of who would lead the certification – the Conformity Assessment Body (CAB) and expert teams as well as public invitation to all stakeholders. The “Assessment Tree” was also defined over the next ~30 calendar days.

–     STEP 2: Fishery Site Visit, Data Compilation, Meetings with Stakeholder, Preliminary Scoring.  (Jan 2015) This phase includes a visit by evaluators the site and extensive interviews and information gathering. Rigorous evaluation began in this phase.

–     STEP 3:  Assessment of the Fishery, Draft Client Report. (Jan-Nov 2014) During this period, the CAB evaluates the fishery and existing science to score the fishery against the MSC standard. The CAB writes the Draft Client Report; and we, the Client, create an Action Plan (December 2015).

–     STEP 4:  Peer Review. To ensure proper process and rigorous scientific inquiry, expert peer scientists review the Draft Client Report to ensure rigor and fairness in the CAB’s assessment. In December 2015/2016, the report was sent to two independent experts for peer review. They provided a written review of the revised draft, which the CAB was then required to explicitly address and incorporate appropriate changes into the next report version. The CAB later announced the Public Comment Draft Report (PCDR), allowing at least 30 days for stakeholders to comment.

–     STEP 5:  Public Report + Public Review Period. Our report was published on the Marine Stewardship Council site in mid-February. The report included the findings of the CAB and peers which determined that our fishery is eligible for certification to the MSC standard. They determined that our fishery meets all scientific standards of MSC as determined by the expert group and peer review. This started the public review period of 30 days. The review period encourages any stakeholder to review the report and comment via the MSC’s open review process. Stakeholders have the opportunity to review the report and comment on any grounds – scientific or other.

–     STEP 6:  Final Report and Determination of the Certifier. The CAB received and will review all comments received for final determination of certification status. The CAB needs time to read, understand and respond to all comments; and the fishery has the opportunity to address the Action Plan at this phase.  Once the CAB makes a final decision on the report via the Final Report Publication, stakeholders are allowed to object during a 15 day period.

 –     STEP 7:  Decision and Public Report of Certification. During this period, the final decision on certification is determined.

The Public Report is available here.