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Join the most recognised certification programme and benefit from trading ASC certified seafood.

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MSC piloting innovative seafood traceability tool

August 25, 2015

The world’s leading sustainable seafood certification program is exploring new ways for additional protection from seafood fraud in its supply chain. Over the past two years the MSC has been piloting a new traceability tool, the MSC Online Transaction Solution, and is seeking feedback from industry stakeholders to shape its continued development.

The tool is pioneering, as to date there is no online system available that can securely handle and verify information of seafood supply chain transactions on a global scale. It verifies seafood sales and purchases made by processing, distribution and retail companies as it moves through the complex global supply chain.

Since its development in 2012, the online verification tool has been trialled in seven European and fifteen Chinese companies. The current plan is to roll the tool out to over 3,000 supply chain companies handling certified products in over 34,000 sites around the world.

Invitation to help shape the tool

This is the second and final opportunity for industry partners to offer their expertise, and help shape an effective tool that would meet current and future industry demands.

How to take part in the consultation

The public consultation is open from 17 August to 18 September 2015.  Seafood industry members can share insights by taking part in the online consultation.

Members of the seafood industry are also invited to join an online interactive workshop taking place on 2 and 3 September. The workshops are designed for supply chain companies to offer practical solutions on seafood transaction and verification. Spaces are limited, please register your interest by sending an email to

Meeting industry needs and global best-practice

“The MSC’s segregation and traceability program is widely recognised as one of the most effective systems for tracking certified seafood along the supply chain” said Titia Sjenitzer, Senior Product Integrity Manager at the MSC. “However, the seafood industry is dynamic.  Demand for certified sustainable seafood continues to grow, and other certification schemes, such as the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), are working with the MSC to use our Chain of Custody Standard. This means that more scalable monitoring mechanisms are required to ensure the MSC’s system remains efficient and effective“.

Over 3,000 organisations, operating out of over 34,000 sites in more than 60 countries currently hold an MSC Chain of Custody certificate. These organisations are responsible for handling over 18,000 products that are sold with the MSC ecolabel in around 100 countries. DNA testing shows that 99% of MSC labelled products are correctly labelled, demonstrating the integrity of the current system. However, the MSC is seeking to evolve its tools and systems in order to ensure that its Chain of Custody Standard continues to lead the industry in ensuring a traceable supply chain for seafood.

Using latest technologies, the tool will complement, but not replace, the existing MSC Chain of Custody system.

“We took part in trialling the MSC Online Transaction Solution and felt it is an important addition to our business. The tool provides us with added confidence that our brand and products are running through a secure and genuine supply chain handling only certified seafood” – Alex Olsen, A. Espersen A/S, MSC certified processing company in Denmark.

If the pilot proves successful, the new tool will be implemented across the full program by 2018. The tool will verify seafood sales and purchases transaction information (such as volume, species, invoice number and transaction date) to mitigate the risk of non-sustainable products being labelled and sold as certified.

Read more about how the MSC ensures the traceability of ecolabelled seafood:

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