Shark finning

The MSC is reviewing the implementation and outcome of the shark finning requirements in the MSC Fisheries Standard.  

This review asks if there is a better way to address shark finning than in the current MSC requirements. 

This project is linked to other projects in the Fisheries Standard Review (FSR) that are assessing the effectiveness of the MSC Fisheries Standard. 

What are we doing? 

The MSC has conducted an initial review of how shark finning is addressed within the Fisheries Standard. This initial review was presented to the MSC Stakeholder Advisory Council and the MSC Technical Advisory Board in November and December 2018.

To further clarify the MSC Board of Trustees intent, shark finning will be addressed both within the FSR and the Fisheries Certification Process (FCP) v2.2. FCP v2.2 adds a scope requirement so that entities successfully prosecuted for shark finning in the last two years will be out of scope for MSC assessment and cannot be certified. We are removing the interpretation on ‘systematic’ shark finning currently on the interpretations website. Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) will have to assess fisheries on the shark finning requirements within the Fisheries Standard alone.

During the FSR review phase, the MSC is conducting research to determine what constitutes current global best practice in regulation and management mechanisms for the prevention of shark and wider elasmobranch finning.

Why are we doing this? 

At its December 2011 meeting, the MSC Board of Trustees resolved that shark finning shall not be undertaken within MSC certified fisheries 

Stakeholders have expressed concerns over the way this intent on shark finning is currently addressed within the MSC Fisheries Standard.  

The MSC recognises a need to clarify and reinforce how this intent is applied within our requirements.

Opportunities to get involved  

To be informed of future events, please contact the project leads and .

Please check the main Fisheries Standard Review page for opportunities to get involved with other topics.