CU Pesca specialises in providing MSC certification services, with more than ten years’ experience successfully certifying fisheries against the MSC standard. CU Pesca provides several MSC-related services.
First and foremost, the MSC pre-assessment, which is a gap analysis against the MSC Fisheries Standard. The objective of a pre-assessment is to identify which areas might require improvement for a fishery to be MSC certified. Any issues in a fishery’s activity (be it environmental impact or management strategy) are discerned, which allows the client to adequately prepare and implement changes for a full assessment.
Fishery improvement projects (FIPs) are an avenue for fisheries around the world to make improvements towards sustainability. MSC pre-assessments may result in FIPs if the client finds that the fishery is in need of improvement before attempting a full assessment. FIPs are a way of uniting fishery stakeholders such as fishers, researchers, funders, managers, and NGOs with the aim of bettering the sustainability of a fishery (this is usually accomplished through a FIP stakeholder meeting). Following the FIP stakeholder meeting, a FIP Action Plan is drafted, it includes objectives, timelines and milestones. The role each stakeholder will play and input requirements will be addressed. The action plan aims to close the gaps highlighted at the pre-assessment stage.
Upon successful completion of the client action plan, fisheries can enter full assessment or update their pre-assessment. The full assessment is a comprehensive, transparent, and independent MSC assessment process, where a fishery is audited against the MSC Fisheries Standard. During a full assessment, the management of the fishery is assessed as well as the fishery’s impact on the target stock and the environment. These assessments are accessible to all fisheries, regardless of size, location, or information availability (risk-based frameworks exist in order to assess the latter). Full assessments can only be carried out by an accredited certification body.
CU Pesca has been conducting MSC full assessments, FIPs and pre-assessments since 2007 (CU Pesca was formerly known as Macalister Elliott and Partners (MEP), then ME-certification (MEC).