From certification to recertification the benefits and challenges of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC): A case study using lobsters
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This paper compares two lobster fisheries, the Western Australian rock lobster (Panulirus cygnus) and the Mexico Baja California red rock lobster (Panulirus interruptus) that have been certified and re-certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), and compares the benefits and challenges associated with the certification process. Both fisheries have had similar conditions imposed to address deficiencies identified in the assessment process. The conditions included a better understanding of target stock status, improving monitoring and reporting of bycatch and Endangered Threatened and Protected species (ETPs), improving the understanding of the potential impacts of fishing on the ecosystem and implementing research plans. Providing the data to address these conditions was both expensive and time consuming but improved the understanding of these fisheries. Currently, MSC certified lobster accounts for approximately 20% of global lobster harvest. However, there is no evidence of a price premium for either Western Australian or Mexican Baja California lobster. At present, the vast majority of both lobster species sold are not tagged with the MSC logo due to the additional cost associated with its use. Despite the differences in species, landings and value, the Western Australian rock lobster and Mexican Baja California red rock lobster fisheries have had similar experiences in the benefits and challenges of the MSC process. In the case of the two lobster fisheries examined here, and undoubtedly in a number of other fisheries around the world where domestic or international market recognition of MSC is not high, the social and political benefits of certification far outweigh any economic incentive.
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Phillips, Bruce; Melville-Smith, Roy; Linnane, A.; Gardner, C.; Walker, T.; Liggins, G. (2010)Australia has a wide range of spiny (rock) lobster species but this review concentrates on the four largest commercial and recreational fisheries and their management. Jasus edwardsii supports significant commercial ...
Phillips, Bruce; Melville-Smith, R. (2003)The Western Rock Lobster Fishery has 594 boats operating about 57,000 pots. Their average annual catch of 11,000 tonnes is valued at around US$150-300 million. In addition to the commercial catch, recreational fishers ...
Phillips, Bruce; Melville-Smith, R. (2005)The Western Rock (spiny) Lobster Fishery has 594 boats operating about 57,000 pots. The average annual catch of 11,000 tonnes is valued at around US$150 million. In addition to the commercial catch, recreational fishers ...