Current stage:

Issue Prioritisation Development Selection Implementation

Improvement overview

There are unique characteristics to salmon fisheries that are not accounted for in the MSC Default Assessment Tree. The development of a modified default assessment tree specific to salmon fisheries which considers enhancement and the complex stock structure of salmon has been a work in progress since 2008.

Current status

Following an expert meeting in Seattle (2012) and an extended public consultation period, the MSC’s Technical Advisory Board (TAB) and Board of Trustees (BoT) approved the new Default Assessment Tree for salmon fisheries. This new salmon standard is included in Annex SC of the Fisheries Certification Requirements version 2.0 (FCRv2.0).

Core updates are outlined below:

The new Default Assessment Tree for salmon fisheries is consistent with existing salmon assessments, providing a default where previously CABs had to modify the general Default Assessment Tree. The new salmon standard captures scientific and management best practice, accounts for the unique population dynamics and stock structure of salmon and includes special requirements for assessing the impact of enhancement activities.

This salmon specific tree accounts for the unique stock structure of salmon fisheries by requiring that the overall production from the fishery is high, while the diversity and productivity of individual populations are also maintained.

This Tree also requires CABs to score any enhancement activities taking place within salmon fisheries such as hatchery production and their subsequent impacts on the wild stocks and receiving environment.

The new requirements will help to ensure robust and consistent assessment of salmon fisheries, ensuring the long-term sustainability of salmon.

See section on Default Assessment Tree for Salmon Fisheries (Annex SC) for further clarification on these new requirements >

Read the full list of topics changed as a result of the FSR >

Planned work

The revised requirements issued on 1 October 2014 became effective on 1 April 2015.

  • Fisheries assessment processes (including first assessments, surveillance audits, certificate extensions and re-assessments) that commence after the effective date, 1 April 2015 have to use the new process requirements, with the exception of the RBF. The  use of the v2.0 RBF (Annex PF) with v1.3 standard is allowed only if a variation is requested.
  • Existing fisheries (in assessment or certified) have to apply the new standard  requirements in addition to the RBF requirements, at their first re-assessment commencing after 1 October 2017.
  • First full assessments that commence after the effective (i.e. 1 April 2015) date shall be conducted in accordance with the new standard requirements in FCRv2.0 in addition to using the new processes, including the RBF.

Download all current scheme documents >

Any fishery may elect to use the new process and standard requirements from publication (1 October 2014) if they wish and CABs can confirm their readiness to apply. For more information, please refer Implementation Timeframe or contact us at: