Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another certification standard for fish?

It seems the state of California is considering developing its own eco-labelling standards for seafood. Unfortunately, the standards will rely heavily on those of the Marine Stewardship Council. But on the bright side, MSC's standards, while flawed, aren't always as big of a problem as the third-party certifiers who examine whether fisheries meet them. Not to mention the fact that a fishery can flunk a few standards with scores of 60 but still pass with conditions. Under the California standards, fisheries must score 80 on certain elements of the standards concerning stock status and bycatch. This is a definite step up from MSC standards, and one that raises the bar for potential applicants. Now they'll have to get their ducks in a row before they get the coveted label.

In any case, it's good to see that people are recognizing that MSC can be improved. I'm sure Californians will appreciate the opportunity to know a little bit more about the fish on their plates.

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