The Marine Stewardship Council is NOT being a friend!

March 25th , 2011

Thank you for visiting my website! It’s great to see that so many people really care about shark and sea turtle conservation in the Atlantic, and it’s pretty exciting to be working on my first-ever blog post.

My campaign for regulations to protect my shark and sea turtle friends from the indiscriminate hooks of Canada’s longline swordfish fishery has really taken off over the past months. I’ve been making a lot of new friends and connecting with a lot of organizations that support my marine conservation goals, and I really appreciate all of the hard work that everyone’s been doing.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like everyone wants to be a friend. The Marine Stewardship Council, one of the world’s leading seafood sustainability labels, is actually considering certifying the longline swordfish fishery as ‘sustainable’! This fishery catches 100,000 sharks and 1,400 sea turtles EVERY YEAR, for only 20,000 swordfish! I know humans have to eat, but this is just wasteful and irresponsible.

I think the MSC certification will hurt me and my friends, and I also think it will hurt the sustainable seafood movement that so many people have been working to grow. Why would consumers look for a label once it stopped being meaningful? The MSC report has mandated NO changes in fishing practices to reduce bycatch in this fishery.

If you care about sharks and sea turtles, or if you care about sustainable seafood, or if you just care about using ocean resources wisely instead of wastefully, I need you to help tell the MSC that this fishery is not ‘sustainable’ and doesn’t deserve their mark of approval.

I’ve already had seven large marine conservation organizations join me in officially opposing this certification. The MSC needs to hear from people like you too though. You can send a letter to Rupert House, CEO of the MSC, telling him how labelling unsustainable fisheries will ruin his credibility and hurt his brand. Afterwards, why not upload a picture to my Friends Gallery, to help the MSC visualize how many people are friends of sharks and sea turtles, and care what eco-labels stand for?

Best fishes,