Johanna Vepsä: Sustainable choices promote the wellbeing of our oceans
A lot of Finns may have missed the UN’s annual World Oceans Day on 8 June, but in many other countries, the day is celebrated with ocean-related festivals and charity events. For us at MSC, every day is world oceans day! We have a vision of the world’s oceans teeming with life, and seafood supplies safeguarded for this and future generations.
Why is marine preservation so important? Oceans are vital to life on Earth. They cover more than 70% of our planet’s surface, regulate the climate, and produce the oxygen that we need to live. They are home to an amazing variety of life, and fish and crustaceans are the primary source of protein for more than two billion people. Oceans are our last significant uncultivated food source, and therefore the wellbeing of sea life is essential for the survival of people’s livelihood and food security.
What is MSC’s role in all of this? The Marine Stewardship Council is an international non-profit organisation that recognises and rewards sustainable fishing and efforts to protect the oceans. MSC is also the only wild-capture seafood certification and ecolabelling programme recognised by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO), the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI), and the ISEAL Alliance. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) also strives to promote the certification of fisheries and demand for MSC products as part of its wider efforts to educate consumers.
Our goal is that future generations can also enjoy seafood and oceans teeming with life. The blue MSC label can only be found on wild fish and crustaceans from fisheries that have been MSC-certified. We work together with the fishing industry, scientific community and trading sector operators to promote sustainable fishing and to ensure consumers have access to sustainably caught seafood. Sustainable fishing means ensuring healthy fish populations and minimising the environmental impact of fishing.
More than 300 fisheries in 35 countries have been given the MSC certificate, and over 27,000 seafood products globally now carry the blue MSC label, meaning there is plenty of choice when it comes to sustainable seafood. In Finland, there are more than 20 MSC traceability certificate holders and currently over 600 MSC-labelled products on offer – and promisingly, the number is constantly growing!
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