Marine Stewardship Council

Worldwide, WWF takes part in the process to certify fisheries. We engage in the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) institutionally. Part of the role is to prepare independent technical submissions about key conservation concerns and the best practice measures that should be adopted.

Where possible, WWF-New Zealand works to review New Zealand fisheries undergoing assessment as one of a number of stakeholders in the process. Our aim is always to push best practice management.

Currently, six New Zealand fisheries have achieved certification from the MSC:

- The hoki (Macruronus novaezelandiae) fishery was first certified in March 2001, re-certified in October 2007 and passed its second re-assessment in 2013. WWF-New Zealand objected to its re-certification because of the impacts on the marine ecosystem and wildlife. Latest data shows the fish stock is well managed but we continue to have concerns about wider impacts. We believe the MSC provides an important mechanism for ongoing monitoring and driving positive change.

- The albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) troll was certified in May 2011.

- The southern blue whiting (Micromesistius australis) pelagic trawl fishery was certified in April 2012. Initial concerns that the fishery was catching numbers of endangered New Zealand sea lions were addressed and in 2012 catches were reduced to zero in this area. WWF will continue to monitor the issue of sea lion bycatch in the fishery.

- New Zealand hake (Merluccius australis) trawl was certified in September 2014.

- New Zealand EEZ ling (Genypterus blacodes) trawl and longline was certified in September 2014.

- New Zealand orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus) was certified in December 2016 for trawls/bottom trawls. WWF has significant concerns about this certification, due to the use of bottom trawls in this fishery which is causing serious and irreversible harm to sensitive habitats and to ecosystem functions, with no effective strategy in place to ensure that this will change. Until the issues raised by WWF in its appeal are fully addressed, WWF does not recommend the MSC-certified orange roughy fishery as sustainable or moving towards sustainability, nor does WWF encourage businesses and consumers to source from the fishery.