16 June 2009|
(Marine Stewardship Council – Chain of Custody)
Certification for sustainable fishing
Fish and other forms of seafood are one of the most important sources of food throughout the world. But fish stocks are under pressure: overfishing is not only damaging the ecological balance of seas, rivers and oceans, but also the fishing industry itself. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) wishes to counteract this trend, and as an international, independent and non-profit-making organisation, has developed standards for sustainable fishing. The Council also offers a certification process which means that responsible fishing with due regard for the environment can be recognised by the consumer. TÜV NORD CERT is one of the few accredited partners in Germany which is entitled to offer certification according to MSC rules.
National and international companies from almost all areas of the fishery sector, including importers, processors, suppliers, wholesalers and retailers, large-scale kitchens and suppliers to communal institutions and organisations, restaurants and also fishing associations, can apply for certification. Successful completion of an audit procedure documents ongoing commitment to a responsible approach to fish as a product - for increasing numbers of customers and consumers now demand information regarding the origin of the products they purchase. Certification guarantees gap-free traceability, and demonstrates that the fish have been legally caught, thereby increasing the confidence of fisheries, customers and end consumers.
Following certification, the companies are permitted to use the well-known and respected MSC logo on their products, which in turn offers considerable benefits in the competitive market, allows access to environmentally-aware groups of customers and provides independent proof of a gap-free and transparent supply chain. The Fish Information Center (FIZ - Fisch-Informationszentrum) in Hamburg also supports use of this seal of quality.
TÜV NORD CERT is taking over the product "Chain of Custody" according to MSC, Version 2, August 2005, for all companies in the supply chain (we currently do not offer certification of fisheries on site). The certification procedure is as follows:
An optional preliminary audit uncovers possible weakness in advance of the certification audit itself.
- After the employees have been informed of the principles of the MSC, an MSC representative is nominated who monitors adherence to the MSC requirements.
- Accredited certifiers and MSC auditors from TÜV NORD CERT visit the company, inspect the documentation for traceability from incoming goods through to goods despatch and hold interviews with employees in order to gain an impression of how the fish is handled.
- If appropriate, the certifiers place certain conditions on the company, for example, a requirement for presentation of proof of certification of suppliers.
- Following successful certification, TÜV NORD CERT draws up a report and issues the MSC certificate, which is valid for three years. Following this, regular surveillance audits take place, in order to ensure that the required standard is maintained.
- The certified company can register with the MSCI (Marine Stewardship Council International) for use of the MSC logo.
Further information: http://www.msc.org/