On The Hook members update 30.09.22: consultation results published

On The Hook consultation reveals major concerns about performance of Marine Stewardship Council ecolabel • 77% of respondents to On The Hook consultation felt MSC’s use of term ‘sustainable’ was not appropriate • 57% said that MSC is not currently an effective indicator of sustainable fishing • 75% of respondents thought there were instances where a fishery was certified by MSC which should not have been Friday 30th September 2022: The results of an online consultation run by the On The Hook campaign provide evidence of the scale of stakeholder concerns about the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) ecolabelling scheme.

Dear On The Hook members

I hope that you are all staying very well.

Publication of consultation results

I’m writing to share an update on the results of the online consultation we ran between April and July, which we have published today, as well as some details on next steps for our external review of the MSC.

The consultation attracted 69 responses from stakeholders in 14 countries covering a range of sectors (government, NGOs, academia, retail and industry).

You can find a visual summary of results here, but some key headline findings which may be of interest are below:

  • 56% of respondents felt MSC was not an effective driver of sustainable fishing – just 16% felt it was.
  • 57% of respondents felt MSC was not an effective indicator of sustainable fishing – just 18% felt it was.
  • 77.5% of respondents felt that MSC’s use of the term ‘sustainable’ was not appropriate and not in line with market/ consumer expectations.
  • 40% felt MSC had lowered its standards for certification as it had grown in size.
  • 75% thought there were specific instances in which a fishery was certified which should not have been.
  • 67% felt there were fishing types, practices or activities currently certified which should not have been.

Any support in amplifying our press release and upcoming social media activity around these results would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

Next steps – roundtable discussions

In terms of next steps, we will be organising a series of roundtable discussions later this year on the topics below:

  • Whether the MSC delivers what is needed from a seafood ecolabel in the 21st century
  • Whether MSC is an effective guarantee/ driver of environmental sustainability
  • Whether MSC is an effective guarantee/ driver of overall sustainability
  • Whether the MSC’s business and operating models are compatible with deliver its sustainability objectives

We hope that a diverse range of stakeholders and perspectives will be represented – if you have any ideas of potential participants, please do get in touch!

We will keep you updated as our plans progress, but please let me know if you have any questions in the meantime.

Best wishes


Amy Hammond, Account Director