Marine Stewardship Council Summary

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The article “The emergence and effectiveness of the Marine Stewardship Council” of Lars H. Gulbrandsen surveys how patterns of emergence influence the effectiveness of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), as one of the most important wild-capture fisheries certification programs, which was established in 1998. The main topics discussed in the article are the history of the MSC, the requirements for fisheries and barriers that the MSC had to face during the standard-development-process. In addition, it analyses the effect on fish stocks and several impacts of the MSC, as well as the adoption of schemes and some efforts of several labeling organizations to take over the spot from MSC.
The starting point of the first eco-labeling initiatives
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Nevertheless, several process enhancements in MSC-certificated fisheries and one notable ecological improvement became evident. The ecological improvement was direct related to the certification process and accomplished with a view to the assessment process: the seabird by-catch in the South Georgia Patagonian toothfish was reduced. Moreover, other researchers found out that the certifications requirements of the MSC seem to favor small-scale fisheries and large-scale fisheries in developed countries. Small- scale fisheries have the advantage that because of their limited access, it is easier to certify them. The process of certification is time devouring, expensive and challenging. Thus, large-scale fisheries are more likely to have the ability and the capacities to implement the standards because of economies of scale. The same applies to developed countries in contrast to developing countries. In addition, because of a deficiency of credible scientific data on condition of their fisheries, several developing countries are sidelined from even…show more content…
Even though the results of this study do not clearly imply that the application of certification has positive effects on the environment or the fishing industry itself, the basic rule of scarcity points out, that sooner or later, this area is to be regulated as well. In this manner, the question how to make the certification more appealing and affordable to everyone arises. In which way should the certification be organized so that the benefits of its conducting overweight the costs of it for the individuals and the society in total? On the one hand, we have the situation characterized with the ones that are getting certified have historically developed preconditions for doing, while on the other hand, for the ones that are left without certificates this procedure induces costs that they are often unable to bear (due to their size, country of origin or similar “disadvantageous factors”). In order to create the opportunities for every fishery to base its success on quality rather than size, it is of utmost importance to find an optimal solution to this

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