2012 policy cycle changes

 

At each meeting of the MSC Technical Advisory Board (TAB) and Board of Trustees, changes to MSC’s certification requirements (CR) and other aspects of the program are considered. Below is a list of changes approved by the TAB and the Board in 2011 and their subsequent implementation timeframe.

For more information about any of the work described below please contact: standards@msc.org

2012 fisheries policy developments

  1. Modifications to the MSC Certification Requirements for enhanced bivalve fisheries
  2. Additional guidance for fisheries on shared, straddling and highly migratory stocks
  3. Recertification of fisheries with outstanding conditions

2012 chain of custody policy development

  1. Use of MSC’s Chain of Custody by other standard setters

2012 overarching policy development

  1. Implementing changes to the MSC Standards and certification requirements

 

2012 fisheries policy developments

Modifications to the enhanced bivalve fisheries

The Technical Advisory Board (TAB) has approved modifications to the Certification Requirements for assessing translocation, genetics and habitat/ecosystem interactions in the different types of enhanced bivalve fisheries eligible for MSC certification.

The new requirements are summarised as follows:

  • For enhanced CAG bivalve fisheries without translocation, certifiers shall not score Principle 1 in cases where appropriate justification can be provided in the notification and full reports
  • Certifiers do not have to include an expert in species stock assessments on the assessment team if Principle 1 is not to be scored
  • Retained and by-catch species Performance Indicators and Scoring Guideposts (PISGs) shall not be scored for enhanced Catch and Grow bivalve fisheries that do not involve dredging

The TAB also approved new PISGs for scoring translocations and genetic impacts. The enhanced bivalve scoring requirements are located in Annex CK of the Certification Requirements.

Certifiers will begin using new requirements as of 10 March 2012 or sooner.

The scope criteria for all enhanced fisheries can now be found in section 27.4 of the Certification Requirements. Three types of enhanced fishery are recognised:

Catch and Grow (CAG) fisheries

- also known as capture-based aquaculture. For example, in mussel fishing where the fishers catch small, young mussels and grow them on ropes.

Hatch and Catch fisheries (HAC)

- also known as culture-based fisheries. In these fisheries, the fishers introduce eggs, larvae or young fish from hatcheries into the wild and then catch them when they are adults.

Habitat modified fisheries

- for example, providing ropes for mussels to grow on.

Click here for more information about enhanced fisheries

 

Additional guidance for fisheries on shared, straddling and highly migratory stocks

The MSC Technical Advisory Board (TAB) has approved the modifications to the Guidance to the Certification Requirements for Principle 1 (P1; target stock) to ensure the consistency of MSC assessments of fisheries on shared and straddling stocks (‘SSS’) and highly migratory species (‘HMS’).

Summary of changes to the MSC Certification Requirements:

  • When considering management Performance Indicators under P1 in fisheries that target shared stocks, straddling stocks or highly migratory stocks, certifiers should consider all national and international management systems that apply to the stock and the capacity of these systems to deliver sustainable outcomes for P1
  • International management systems may include Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs), bilateral/multilateral arrangements and other international arrangements with similar intent

Certifiers will begin using new guidance as of 10 January, 2012.

 

Recertification of fisheries with outstanding conditions

The MSC Technical Advisory Board (TAB) approved amendments to the MSC Certification Requirements to address situations where fisheries approach reassessment and have not closed out all of their conditions.

The new requirements as approved by TAB are:

  • An additional reporting requirement in the reassessment Public Comment Draft Report (PCDR)  to include details for any conditions that were raised in the previous assessment, closed at some point during the certification period, and which are being ‘re-raised’ in the reassessment
  • An additional reporting requirement in each Surveillance Report to include details for any conditions that are raised during the surveillance audit that refer to conditions raised in the previous assessment(s), closed at some point during the (re)certification period, and which are being ‘re-raised’ in the surveillance audit
  • New requirements and guidance to make explicit under what circumstances progress against open conditions can be deemed 'adequate' to allow reassessment to commence with outstanding conditions

These changes aim to enhance transparency and reduce the possibility of auditors either carrying over or reopening conditions without a reasonable justification. Further, these changes will also ensure that fisheries having conditions written prior to the requirements for outcome-based conditions, and prior to the requirement for interim milestones for conditions will still have an appropriate evaluation of progress against conditions at the time of reassessment.

Certifiers will begin using new requirements as of 10 March, 2012.

 

2012 chain of custody policy developments

Use of MSC’s Chain of Custody by other standard setters

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) will use the MSC Chain of Custody (CoC) requirements to assure the traceability of ASC-certified aquaculture products through their supply chains. Annex BE to the MSC CR defines how the MSC CoC requirements are applied to ASC supply chains. Although the ASC will use MSC's chain of custody, the ASC remains a separate organisation that will use a different ecolabel.

To read more about MSC's collaboration with ASC click here.

 

2012 overarching policy developments

Implementing changes to the MSC Standards and certification requirements

The MSC Technical Advisory Board (TAB) has approved the changes to the Certification Requirements on the procedure for implementing agreed changes to scheme requirements.

To read more about MSC's collaboration with ASC click here.

A summary of the changes as agreed by TAB are:

 

  • The adoption of a formal distinction between process- and performance-type changes to scheme requirements
  • A fixed time interval between when documents are issued to certifiers and when they become effective (effective date) (2 months)

A standardized implementation timeframe for changes to process requirements:

    • All new assessments or audits commencing after the effective date must be conducted in compliance with new requirements
    • All other assessments or audits must be conducted in compliance with new requirements within one year of the effective date

A standardized implementation timeframe for changes to performance requirements:

  • All fisheries which have not entered assessment before the effective date, must comply with new performance requirements
  • All other fisheries (in assessment or certified) must comply with new performance requirements upon reassessment or within 4 years of the effective date, whichever is sooner

The Board may, for specific policies, agree that the timeframe for implementation applicable to fisheries under paragraph 4 (b) may be shorter than 4 years, with a minimum implementation timetable being at the first surveillance audit taking place after one year from the effective date.

  • For Chain of Custody performance requirements, changes are applicable to new applicants after the effective date and existing applicants and certificate holders upon reassessment

Application of the changes to the timeline requirements

All fisheries for which more than 4 months has elapsed between entering assessment and the start of the site visit, must implement the new requirements from the time of the site visit.

All fisheries for which more than 9 months has elapsed between the on-site assessment and the PCDR, must implement the new requirements when revising the scoring under CR 24.2.3.