As a result, sustainability and responsible fishing practices are upper-most in their mind, as they work to ensure that the sea continues to provide a living for them and for future generations.
Responsible sourcing, or in this case responsible fishing, can be expressed in many ways and be used to describe fisheries in a range of conservation conditions.
Responsible fishing does not necessarily relate to sustainability in that a fishery could be legal (and therefore the measures being taken for it are responsible) but it may not be sustainable. To be properly worthy of the name a sustainable fishery must unequivocally be able to maintain fish stocks at a manageable level whilst maintaining a healthy ecosystem.
At the very least a fishery that is sourcing fish responsibly takes into account, and exceeds, the minimum management or legal requirements governing a fishery. A responsible fishery will take into account sustainability criteria and observe when resources may need to recover. Fishermen understand very well that they have to be part of the movement to manage marine resources better; they have to act responsibly and be able to demonstrate what is happening.
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an independent non profit organisation committed to the highest benchmarks for credible certification and eco-labelling programs.
Their stated mission is to use eco-label and fishery certification programmes to contribute to the health of the world's oceans by recognising and rewarding sustainable fishing practises - fisheries that are assessed and meet the standard are encouraged to use the MSC blue eco-label.
When fish is bought that has the blue MSC ecolabel, it should indicate that this fish comes from an environmentally responsible fishery that does not contribute to the global environmental problem of over-fishing.
The blue eco-label is designed to inform and influence the choices people make when buying seafood.