This program improvement involves three main work areas within P2:

  • Species outcome Performance Indicators (PIs) and the species component restructure
  • Species management and information PIs
  • Habitat

Species Outcome Performance Indicators (PIs) and the Species Component Restructure

Stakeholders have raised concerns about parts of P2's outcome related requirements not reflecting current best practice.  Issues include the cumulative impacts of certified fisheries and requirements for ‘retained’ species. In addition, there is lack of consistency around which Performance Indicator's different species are addressed.

For more history of the development of this topic, please click here.

Species Management and Information PIs

The objective of this topic is to ensure the MSC assessment of fisheries in relation to bycatch and discards management and Principle 2 species (Retained, Bycatch, Endangered, Threatened and Protected - ETP) information requirements are consistent with international best practice. Two main issues have been identified:

  • Problem 1 - The MSC’s Principles and Criteria intent regarding minimizing mortality of unwanted bycatch species is not clearly explained or implemented within the requirements;
  • Problem 2 - Inconsistency has been identified between assessments on the scoring of information performance indicators (PIs) and how adequacy of information has been reported.

For more history of the development of this topic, please click here.


The Certification Requirements (CR) define how Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) should assess the impacts of fishing activities on habitats. However, some stakeholders feel that the current CR and Guidance to the CR (GCR) do not produce consistent scoring of the Habitat PIs. Therefore, the MSC began work on the habitat topic in 2011. In 2012, two stakeholder workshops and two public consultatoins were used to gather feedback on how the MSC should proceed. Subsequently, definitions for "habitat", "habitat structure" and "habitat function" were approved and were included in the 2013 version of the CR.

To find out more about the history of development for the Benthic Impacts topic, please click here.