This tool matches ISSF resources to Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Performance Indicators (PIs), and it’s designed for fishery improvement projects (FIPs) that need to make progress on specific PIs — including to close conditions for MSC fishery certification. Some resources also are suitable for tuna fisheries seeking to be pre-assessed against the MSC standard.

In the graphic below, you have two ways to access the resources:

  • As a complete, alphabetical list, by clicking the green link under “MSC Fisheries Standard”
  • Within each MSC Principle and Performance Indicator. Click the plus symbol (+) to expand a PI, and follow the green “View ISSF FIP Resources” link. You’ll see a list of ISSF online resources and/or technical services that support a fishery’s efforts to improve performance on that PI.

In a resource list, we feature our most important resources, in yellow, at the top. For a customized view of other resources in a list, you can filter each column (e.g., “Resource Type”) — including to find ones useful for preassessment, during a FIP, or both. Use the buttons above the Search box (at top right) to print or share information via email or social networks.

Online resource items are linked, so it’s easy to view and/or download those resources. (Unless otherwise noted, resource items are in English.) On mobile devices, view the Finder horizontally for the best view.

If you would like to request ISSF technical services — such as workshops or consultations for your FIP — or have fishery improvement support questions, use our FIP Support Form.

MSC Fisheries Standard

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Principle 1

Sustainable fish stocks

Fisheries must operate in a way that allows fishing to continue indefinitely, without over exploiting the resources.

Outcome

MSC Performance Indicators 1.1.1–1.1.2

PI 1.1.1 Stock Status

The stock is at a level which maintains high productivity and has a low probability of recruitment overfishing.

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PI 1.1.2 Stock Rebuilding

Where the stock is reduced, there is evidence of stock rebuilding within a specified timeframe.

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Harvest Strategy (Management)

MSC Performance Indicators 1.2.1–1.2.4

PI 1.2.1 Harvest Strategy

There is a robust and precautionary harvest strategy in place.

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PI 1.2.2 Harvest Control Rules & Tools

There are well defined and effective harvest control rules (HCRs) in place.

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PI 1.2.3 Information / Monitoring

Relevant information is collected to support the harvest strategy.

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PI 1.2.4 Assessment of Stock Status

There is an adequate assessment of the stock status.

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Principle 2

Minimizing environmental impacts

Fishing operations need to be managed to maintain the structure, productivity, function and diversity of the ecosystem upon which the fishery depends, including other species and habitats.

Primary Species

MSC Performance Indicators 2.1.1–2.1.3

PI 2.1.1 Outcome (O)

The UoA aims to maintain primary species above the point where recruitment would be impaired (PRI) and does not hinder recovery of primary species if they are below the PRI.

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PI 2.1.2 Management (M)

There is a strategy in place that is designed to maintain or to not hinder rebuilding of primary species; and the UoA regularly reviews and implements measures, as appropriate, to minimize the mortality of unwanted catch.

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PI 2.1.3 Information (I)

Information on the nature and amount of primary species taken is adequate to determine the risk posed by the UoA and the effectiveness of the strategy to manage primary species.

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Secondary Species

MSC Performance Indicators 2.2.1–2.2.3

PI 2.2.1 Outcome (O)

The UoA aims to maintain secondary species above a biologically based limit and does not hinder recovery of secondary species if they are below a biologically based limit.

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PI 2.2.2 Management (M)

There is a strategy in place for managing secondary species that is designed to maintain or to not hinder rebuilding of secondary species; and the UoA regularly reviews and implements measures, as appropriate, to minimize the mortality of unwanted catch.

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PI 2.2.3 Information (I)

Information on the nature and amount of secondary species taken is adequate to determine the risk posed by the UoA and the effectiveness of the strategy to manage secondary species.

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ETP Species

MSC Performance Indicators 2.3.1–2.3.3

PI 2.3.1 Outcome (O)

The UoA meets national and international requirements for protection of ETP species. The UoA does not hinder recovery of ETP species.

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PI 2.3.2 Management (M)

The UoA has in place precautionary management strategies designed to:
- meet national and international requirements; and
- ensure the UoA does not hinder recovery of ETP species.
Also, the UoA regularly reviews and implements measures, as appropriate, to minimize the mortality of ETP species.

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PI 2.3.3 Information (I)

Relevant information is collected to support the management of UoA impacts on ETP species, including:
- information for the development of the management strategy;
- information to assess the effectiveness of the management strategy; and
- information to determine the outcome status of ETP species.

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Habitats

MSC Performance Indicators 2.4.1–2.4.3

PI 2.4.1 Outcome (O)

The UoA does not cause serious or irreversible harm to habitat structure and function, considered on the basis of the area covered by the governance body(s) responsible for fisheries management in the area(s) where the UoA operates.

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PI 2.4.2 Management (M)

There is a strategy in place that is designed to ensure the UoA does not pose a risk of serious or irreversible harm to the habitats.

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PI 2.4.3 Information (I)

Information is adequate to determine the risk posed to the habitat by the UoA and the effectiveness of the strategy to manage impacts on the habitat.

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Ecosystem

MSC Performance Indicators 2.5.1–2.5.3

PI 2.5.1 Outcome (O)

The UoA does not cause serious or irreversible harm to the key elements of ecosystem structure and function.

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PI 2.5.2 Management (M)

There are measures in place to ensure the UoA does not pose a risk of serious or irreversible harm to ecosystem structure and function.

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PI 2.5.3 Information (I)

There is adequate knowledge of the impacts of the UoA on the ecosystem.

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Principle 3

Effective management

All fisheries need to meet all local, national and international laws and have an effective management system in place.

Governance and Policy

MSC Performance Indicators 3.1.1–3.1.3

PI 3.1.1 Legal and/or Customary Framework

The management system exists within an appropriate and effective legal and/or customary framework which ensures that it:
- Is capable of delivering sustainability in the UoA(s)
- Observes the legal rights created explicitly or established by custom of people dependent on fishing for food or livelihood; and
-Incorporates an appropriate dispute resolution framework.

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PI 3.1.2 Consultation Roles & Responsibilities

The management system has effective consultation processes that are open to interested and affected parties.
The roles and responsibilities of organizations and individuals who are involved in the management process are clear and understood by all relevant parties.

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PI 3.1.3 Long Term Objectives

The management policy has clear long-term objectives to guide decision-making that are consistent with MSC Fisheries Standard, and incorporates the precautionary approach.

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Fishery Specific Management System

MSC Performance Indicators 3.2.1–3.2.4

PI 3.2.1 Fishery Specific Objectives

The fishery-specific management system has clear, specific objectives designed to achieve the outcomes expressed by MSC’s Principles 1 and 2.

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PI 3.2.2 Decision Making Processes

The fishery-specific management system includes effective decision-making processes that result in measures and strategies to achieve the objectives and has an appropriate approach to actual disputes in the fishery.

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PI 3.2.3 Compliance & Enforcement

Monitoring, control and surveillance mechanisms ensure the management measures in the fishery are enforced and complied with.

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PI 3.2.4 Monitoring & Management Performance Evaluation

There is a system for monitoring and evaluating the performance of the fishery-specific management system against its objectives. There is effective and timely review of the fishery-specific management system.

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