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MSC certification of the hoki industry

Media release 18 May 2006

WWF statement about the MSC certification of the hoki fishery

WWF has informed the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and its certifiers, SGS, of its intention to object to the recommendation by the certifiers that the New Zealand hoki fishery should be recertified against the MSC's environmental standard.

WWF disagrees with the certifiers approach to scoring and will object on both procedural and merit grounds. WWF will submit a detailed objection to the certifiers within a month.

The objections process is an integral part of the MSC's system of certification and ecolabelling. It allows stakeholders to object to the certifier’s recommendation. The recertification of the hoki fishery will not be confirmed until the objections procedure has been completed.

This objection is part of WWF’s continued and consistent involvement with the hoki fishery throughout the initial assessment and certification since 2001. WWF continues to be in dialogue with key stakeholders as part of the objections process in an effort to find resolution.

The MSC logo is the only seafood ecolabel supported by WWF, and we continue to urge seafood businesses to partner with the MSC and preferentially purchase products bearing its label.


The New Zealand hoki fishery was the first large scale whitefish fishery to be certified as sustainable by the MSC in 2001. MSC certification lasts for five years. Recertification requires an independent assessment of the fishery against the MSC standard. The certifier, SGS, performed the original assessment and certification of the hoki fishery, and has recommended its recertification.


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