Sunday, December 18, 2011

MSC Board statement on shark finning

From the Marine Stewardship Council:
At its December 2011 meeting held in Berlin, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Board of Trustees resolved that fisheries engaged in shark finning would not be eligible for certification to the MSC standard for sustainable fisheries.

Shark finning is defined as the practice of removing and retaining any of the fins (including the tail) of the shark, and returning the carcass of the shark to the sea.

The Board’s decision is based upon international norms and consensus, such as that expressed in the FAO’s International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks, as well as scientific and management grounds.

This decision will become effective in March, 2013, following development of the technical implementation mechanism and opportunities for public consultation during 2012.

Source: MSC
There is a difference between shark fishing and shark finning. In terms of finning, nearly every country in the world bans it. Enforcement of a finning ban is a whole other thing, but the policy is already in place for most countries.

It will be interesting to see if MSC will focus on policy or enforcement when making their determinations of sustainable fishing. Will a country with a shark finning policy, but no enforcement be able to qualify for MSC certification? Hope not.

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