MSC Certified Sustainable: Seafood

MSC is touted as being one of the most sustainable labels for wild-caught fish. The goal of the Marine Stewardship Council is to minimize overfishing while protecting habitats. While the MSC certification is performed by third party auditors, some conservation organizations have expressed concern that the certification process is not always approached with the most scientific rigor, and that decisions to certify a fishery may be influenced by a fishing association’s willingness to pay for the certification. For these reasons, organizations like the World Wildlife Fund have advocated for greater oversight and transparency over the MSC’s certification process.


Requires Verification/Inspection

FoodPrint Label Criteria

Wild or Farmed


Fish and Ecosystem Welfare

Ensures optimal stocking densities
Prohibits purse seine nets
Restricts incidental bycatch*
Minimizes disruption to ecosystem

*Reports in 2018 indicate that there were challenges in enforcing their bycatch standards


Tracking system in place for chain of custody
Tracking system in place for origin

Worker Welfare

Prohibits forced labor and human trafficking*
Prohibits child labor*
Fair/living wages ensured
Health protections

*Strongly condemns, but is assessed and reported by company

Explore Issues in Seafood