In December 2011, the MSC Board of Trustees resolved that shark finning (the removal of a shark’s fins and disposal of the remaining carcass at sea) is prohibited within MSC certified fisheries. New requirements were therefore introduced to the MSC Fisheries Standard to only allow fisheries to be certified if there is a high level of certainty that shark finning is not taking place. Certified fisheries are also required to have effective systems of monitoring, control and enforcement in place to address isolated incidents of shark finning.  

Since the introduction of these requirements, the MSC’s monitoring and evaluation, along with stakeholder feedback, has flagged inconsistencies in their application. The MSC therefore recognises the need to review whether the current requirements adequately reflect the Board’s intent.

This topic will be addressed through two separate reviews: the current consultation looks at shark finning as an eligibility (scope) issue for MSC certification; and the ongoing Fisheries Standard Review, run on a longer timeline, will consider how shark finning is addressed within the requirements of the MSC Fisheries Standard.