Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification of fisheries in Northern Russia

Lead Author Daria, Smagina
Institution Contact St. Petersburg State University Department of Ichthyology and Hydrobiology Faculty of Biology St. Petersburg State University 16 line V.O. 29, 199178, St. Petersburg, Russia
Co-Authors Dmitry Lajus, St. Petersburg State University, Russia Carina Keskitalo, Umeå University, Sweden.
Theme Theme 1: Vulnerability of Arctic Environments
Session Name 1.1 Climate Change and Environmental Management in the Arctic
Presentation Type Poster
Abstract text Currently, there is a number of ecological certifications of fisheries worldwide, but Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification is the most known and demanded by market. This is a third-party audit of a fishery’s compliance with certain criteria, in particularly, status of target species, effect of fishery on ecosystems and effectiveness of management. The certificate holders are awarded by the MSC label, which is recognized by consumers and provides market advantages for the fishery. The goal of this study is to analyze the process of MSC certification in Russia based on opinions of participating parties. We held twenty semi-structured interviews with four categories of stakeholders, all possessing information on the process of MSC certification. The context analysis shown the problems named by the respondents vary depending on the fishing techniques and location of fishing. The most advanced in terms of management are the Barents Sea codfish fisheries, which are co-managed by Russia and Norway. The main problem of these fisheries is use of bottom trawls which may seriously affect bottom communities. In Sakhalin and Kamchatka regions respondents note high level of illegal fishing and in some cases lack of scientific data. Pollock fishery in the Sea of Okhotsk during process of certification experiences serious pressure of rival US fisheries. Respondents from all fisheries denote problems of language barrier, difficulties with access to scientific monitoring data and overall complexity of MSC certification process.