These assessments will help inform policy, management, funding, and the direction of sustainable seafood work across the globe.
We developed a rapid assessment protocol based on a select group of 19 especially predictive performance indicators within the three Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) principles. Using this protocol we can quickly assess any fishery, providing a clear map of the certification likelihood and fishery improvement potential. This efficient and cost-effective assessment method is less ponderous than an MSC assessment, but still meets the Conservation Alliance for Sustainable Seafood requirements for a basic FIP and provides a great initial starting point when scoping a fishery.
To conduct the rapid assessment we summarize fishery information within each MSC principle and assign a scoring range (0-40, > 40 to < 60, 60 to < 80, 80-100) to each performance indicator (any score below 60 would cause the fishery to automatically fail the MSC assessment process). The assessment method is very flexible and can be conducted at a more general level that summarizes information across gear types for a particular species, or at a more specific level focusing on a single gear type or region. To conduct the assessments we use publicly available information such as stock assessments, policy documents, and reports written by fishery scientists at government agencies and fisheries management organizations.
Using the complete rapid assessment we create one page species summaries which identify key sustainability issues and we make an initial determination as to whether the fisheries for the respective species appear suitable for MSC certification within the near term (roughly the next 5 years).