MSC Certification of Russian Arctic Fisheries

In Svein Vigeland Rottem and Ida Folkestad Soltvedt (eds), Arctic Governance: Energy, Living Marine Resources and Shipping. Volume 2. London, I.B. Tauris, 2018, pp. 138-161.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has since its establishment in 1997 become the world’s leading certification scheme for wild capture fish. Currently, around ten per cent of the world’s harvest of wild capture fish is MSC certified. In the Arctic, the highest concentration of MSC certified fisheries are found in the Barents Sea, including demersal stocks such as cod, haddock and saithe as well as crustaceans like crab and shrimp. This chapter tracks the development of MSC certification of Russian fisheries in the Barents Sea. The first assessment of a Russian cod and haddock fishery was started in 2009. Several more have followed suit, and in 2018 the first crab fishery in the region was certified. Despite a slow start, the Russian fishery assessments have gone more quickly, received less public criticism, and scored better over time. Consensus is emerging that the Russian system for fisheries management fulfills the MSC requirements.



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