The MSC certification


The South African trawl fishery for hake is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the world’s leading certification and eco-labelling programme for sustainable wild-caught seafood. The fishery was first certified in 2004. In February 2021, following an exacting 12-month re-assessment process, it was certified for a fourth five-year period. The MSC Standard is rigorous and takes into account the entire fishery and the ecosystem on which it depends. It has three core principles:

The South African hake trawl fishery is one of 674 fisheries around the world that have been certified to the MSC’s sustainability standard. Fisheries representing more than 19% of the world’s wild marine catch are engaged with the MSC certification programme (either certified or in assessment).

MSC assessment of the South African trawl fishery (2021)
MSC assessment of the South African trawl fishery (2015)
MSC assessment of the South African trawl fishery (2009)

The South African trawl fishery for hake is certified as “sustainable and well-managed” by the Marine Stewardship Council.

About the Marine Stewardship Council

The MSC was established in 1997 by Unilever – at the time the world’s largest buyer of seafood – and the conservation organisation, WWF, in response to concerns about the global state of commercial fisheries.

Since then, the MSC has developed into an independent global organisation that works with fisheries, seafood companies, scientists, conservation groups and the general public to promote sustainable fishing.

The MSC maintains a system of ecolabelling which is a tool for promoting the sustainability of fish resources by letting a buyer know their fish has been caught with the least possible harm to the natural environment.

Read “Certification by the MSC is vital to the continued prosperity of the South African deep-sea trawling industry”.

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