Marine Policy, Vol 33, No 4, 2009, pp. 654-660
This article examines the influence of patterns of emergence on the effectiveness of the Marine Stewardship Council -- a leading wild-capture fisheries certification program. Looking first at the origins and features of this program, direct effects are examined by describing the adoption of the scheme and the impacts of the fishery assessment process. In assessing broader consequences, the article examines patterns of adoption and certification effects that were not necessarily intended or anticipated. The article concludes that fisheries certification alone is unlikely to arrest the decline of fish stocks, and highlights the need for more research on the intersection of private and public efforts to address overfishing and environmental harm resulting from fishing.