How the Marine Stewardship Council Helps Keep Oceans Healthy

Discover how purchasing MSC certified seafood and products can help preserve ocean ecosystems for future generations.

marine stewardship council tuna boat in ocean with nets

If you’ve ever wondered what sustainable seafood really means, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) can be your go-to source. For almost 25 years, the MSC has been the world’s leading certification program for sustainable wild-caught seafood and responsible fishery management. Since 1999, we’ve been proud to collaborate with them for sourcing sustainable seafood to help ensure healthy oceans for this and future generations.

What Is the Marine Stewardship Council?

The MSC is an international nonprofit organization that recognizes and rewards sustainable fishing practices to encourage a sustainable basis seafood market. MSC certified sustainable fisheries are showcased for efforts to maintain our ocean ecosystem, as well as managing their business to help ensure seafood sustainability. Plus, they educate customers on how to support sustainable fishing practices.

In order for a fishery to earn MSC certification, they’re evaluated by an independent third party in accordance with the MSC Fisheries Standard for healthy fish populations and ecosystems, and effective management.

Meet Julianne, Fisherwoman and Sustainable Seafood Expert

Don’t just take our word for it. Julianne, an Alaska halibut fisherwoman from MSC certified Ocean Beauty Icicle Seafoods, shares tales from the fishing boats, what seafood sustainability means to her and more.

How did you get into fishing halibut?

I come from four generations of halibut fishermen from Petersburg. I started halibut fishing with my dad and my older sisters in 1997 when I was 16. I love being on the water and harvesting halibut for others to enjoy; it’s such an amazing way to make a living.

What is a typical day for you during peak halibut season?

Each trip starts by getting bait and ice, which helps keep the halibut at optimum temperature once harvested. Gear is baited, set and hauled with a small crew of three or four, and each fish is individually landed, cleaned and cared for, which results in a remarkably high-quality product.

What do you love the most about your job?

Alaska wrote the book on seafood sustainability, and being an Alaskan commercial fisherman means I get to harvest what I think is the highest-quality protein on the planet. That’s pretty cool. Plus, few things fill me with pride quite like standing at the seafood counter at Whole Foods Market seeing sustainable wild-caught halibut and knowing that fish may have been harvested by me.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy Alaska halibut?

Halibut tacos — I love to quick fry and flake halibut in a splash of oil with some flavorful spices to make the best fish tacos you’ve ever had!

MSC Certified Seafood: The Positive Ripple Effect

It’s not just the dedicated fish harvesters who can make a difference in sustainable fishing. By enjoying your favorite MSC certified seafood, you are helping the growth of sustainable fishing and inspiring others to make a difference too! As Julianne says, “Supporting certified fisheries helps ensure that the seafood you are eating comes from fisheries that are sustainable and that harvesters like myself get to continue to do what we love for generations to come.”

Featured MSC Certified Products in Our Aisles

Ready to go fishing for MSC certified seafood? Try these products that span across various departments and aisles in our stores:

All wild-caught seafood in our Seafood department is either MSC certified sustainable or rated green or yellow for sustainability by Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. To learn more about the MSC and the other seafood programs Whole Foods Market supports, check out our Seafood Quality Standards.

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