The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) are a global organisation working with fisheries, seafood companies, scientists, conservation groups and the public to promote the best environmental choice in seafood. This is done through a fishery certification programme and a seafood ecolabel both of which recognise and reward sustainable fishing.
The MSC Chain of Custody standard for seafood traceability ensures that the MSC label is only displayed on seafood from a MSC certified sustainable fishery. This means that consumers and seafood buyers can have confidence that the fish they are buying can be traced back to a fishery that meets the MSC environmental standard for sustainable fishing.
The assessment process involves auditing sites on a yearly basis to confirm that they are meeting the requirements and that traceability and Chain of Custody is maintained.
Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) was founded in 2010 by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) to provide a world leading certification programme for the aquaculture industry. The ASC was founded as a direct offshoot from the success of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and very close ties have been maintained between the two.
For a company to make a claim on an ASC certified product it must (as with the MSC) be Chain of Custody certified. Since it was recognised that the MSC CoC Standard provided an existing system for introducing this requirement, the ASC and MSC agreed to incorporate the ASC CoC requirements directly into the MSC CoC Standard.
As result, a company wishing to be ASC CoC certified must be audited and meet the MSC CoC Standard criteria.