MSC policy development at a glance
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) now offers stakeholders a window into its policy development process as part of the program improvements section on the MSC website, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to MSC.
The policy development process, accessible to all stakeholders including industry, environmental NGOs and the commercial sector, is well established within the MSC's rapidly growing program and is now readily available to view on the MSC's website.
The new section clarifies how the MSC makes improvements to its scheme and how stakeholders can get involved in policy development, as well as setting out current priorities and key milestones for implementation.
Andrew Mallison, Director of Standards and Licensing said: "The MSC improves its processes and policies in a structured and transparent way. It is of prime importance to the MSC that all stakeholders can contribute to the development of the MSC's scheme and that the MSC is taking into account comments and suggestions. Our policy development process is now available online to all stakeholders and allows them to track the progress of issues in which they have a particular interest."
The process for developing new requirements for low trophic level fisheries is a prime example of how, in the future, stakeholders can follow the progress of improvements to the current scheme on particular issues.
Stakeholders will now be able to see progress from the development of a working group, to public consultation periods and outcomes and eventual improvements to the scheme by consulting the policy development webpages.
The MSC sets the benchmark for science-based, sustainable fishing and seafood traceability with strong, robust technical policy that is the backbone of the MSC environmental standard for sustainable fishing and chain of custody standard for seafood traceability.
It is committed to continually improving the quality and consistency of its scheme, both technically and in the area of governance and policy, in conjunction with a wide community of stakeholders.
The MSC's highly transparent and participatory process values input from all stakeholders wanting to contribute to policy development.
"MSC's policy experts are continually consulting with scientists, industry and non-industry stakeholders to develop new policy and improve our requirements." said Mr Mallison.
This review and revision of the scheme is the Policy Development Cycle. Decision points in the cycle typically occur every six months, in line with the meetings of the MSC Technical Advisory Board and Board of Trustees
All stakeholders are welcome to input into policy development or suggest topics for review. The MSC's Stakeholder Council, which represents a wide community of interests and expertise, meets regularly to provide input into these developments, and there are a number of public consultations in which stakeholders are invited to take part.