The scope criteria implemented in 2008 for enhanced fishery assessments identify what fisheries may be considered as within the scope of the MSC program. For some types of enhanced fisheries specific and additional guidance is required to enable the proper assessment of their particular characteristics against the MSC standard.

Three types of enhanced fishery are recognized:

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.

Primary concerns from enhancement activities relate to translocation of salmon (import of brood stock, release of juveniles into non-native streams and straying); introduction of disease; reduction of genetic fitness of wild populations; ecosystem changes, inclusive of competition and predation between enhanced and same/ other wild species as well as potential changes in fresh water systems from fertilization; finally, habitat changes resulting from construction and operation of hatcheries and change from habitat improvement (e.g. spawning channel) activities.

The aim of this policy improvement is to standardize MSC Certification Requirements for enhanced salmon fisheries, consistent with international best practice, in order to contribute toward achieving consistent, credible, and robust assessments of these fisheries against the MSC standard.