MarinTrust has developed a new tool which enhances recognition between the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) and MarinTrust Standards and ensures continuity and traceability within the value chain. This tool clarifies the requirements for all fishmeal plants claiming to be receiving MSC certified materials with the intention of using this for MarinTrust recognition. It will allow MarinTrust to give assurance that the fish to be used in a plant certified against the MarinTrust comes from an MSC Unit of Certification (ie: features specific to fish species, fishing area, gear type and client group). The tool will come into effect on 1 January 2021 for all new MarinTrust applicants claiming to be receiving MSC certified fish for MarinTrust recognition. For current MarinTrust certificate holders claiming to be receiving MSC certified materials, a transition period will apply from 1 January 2021 until 30 June 2021.

What is the implication for whole fish?

Verification of whole fish claiming an MSC certification will happen both at the fishery and at the fishmeal plant levels. Verification will be done first by the fishery assessor, in charge of conducting the fishery assessment against the MarinTrust standard, and then by the site auditor conducting the audit in the fishmeal plant against the MarinTrust Standard.

Should the MSC certified fish lose its MSC certification, then that fish shall undergo a full MarinTrust assessment in order for it to be considered as compliant material.

What is the implication for by-products?

One third of fishmeal produced come from by-products (heads, tails, bones, viscera…). These are important materials, resulting from further processing of whole fish. Their share in the production of fishmeal keeps increasing. For by-products claiming to be MSC certified, these should be covered by an MSC Chain of Custody certificate and the verification will occur only at the fishmeal plant. By-products which are not covered by an MSC Chain of Custody certification shall undergo MarinTrust’s full by-product assessment.

Francisco Aldon, CEO of MarinTrust, explains: “These additional layers of assurance ensure better traceability of marine ingredients throughout a very complex value chain. MarinTrust already works in good collaboration with other seafood standards but robust procedures need to be put in place to take each standard’s different ways of operating into consideration.”

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Francisco Aldon (CEO) 

[email protected]  

About MarinTrust (

MarinTrust (formerly IFFO RS), is the leading independent business to business certification programme for the marine ingredient value chain, consisting of:

- the MarinTrust for Responsible Supply,

- the MarinTrust Chain of Custody for Responsible Supply

- and the MarinTrust Improver Programme.

Since opening for application in October 2009, over 150 plants in 27 different countries have gained MarinTrust certification and over 50% of the worlds combined production of marine ingredients is MarinTrust compliant.

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