BC wild salmon sector withdraws from MSC certification as it can’t meet conditions

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B.C. chum, pink and sockeye have had all their eco-certification suspended, albeit voluntarily.

Vancouver Sun reports that West Canada’s wild salmon sector have left the Marine Stewardship Council certification rather than risk an audit that would most likely fail.

2019 officially brought the worst fishing season on record for sockeye returns in British Columbia. Though, across the State lines in the Puget Sound, Washington, USA, with a season total of slightly over 200 million fish, the Americans have had their eighth largest on harvest record.

“We were behind on nine of those conditions in last year’s audit and we came to the conclusion that it would be touch and go whether we would pass (this year),” said Christina Burridge, spokesperson for the Canadian Pacific Sustainable Fisheries Society, which holds the MSC certificates, to the publication.

The MSC standards are based on three main principles and an average score of 80 for each of the principles must be achieved in order to become certified, which are:

  • Principle 1 – Sustainable fish stocks
  • Principle 2 – Minimizing environmental impact
  • Principle 3 – Effective management

That means that B.C. chum, pink and sockeye from Pacific Canada will no longer be certified sustainable and it may be downgraded by classification systems from Ocean Wise and Seafood Watch.