Gísli Gíslason

Marine Stewardship Council

Gísli Gíslason is born in fisherman family in Iceland.  He worked aside studies in fish production,  Aquaculture and as professional fisherman.   He took degree in Aquaculture in Averoyja v.g skole in Norway, then Cand-mag degree in marin biology and Cand scient degree in Marine biochemistry and Aquaculture from the University of Tromsö.  After study he has worked as branch manager at Icelandic Fisheries Laboratories in Westman Island, then with the Icelandic group both in Iceland and UK, on sales and marketing of coldwater prawns.  Then with the Canadian company Barry group selling prawn for the company into the UK and EU market.   Since 2008 Gisli has worked with the Marine Stewardship Council, first as consultant but as a Manager of the region Iceland, Faroe and Greenland since 2012.


Seafood sustainability – Certification systems, Tue 10:40

Driving improvements! Volunteer market based program incentivise improvements in the global fisheries


Overfishing is a huge global challenge. MSC operates a certification and ecolabel program based on a scientifically robust standard for assessing whether wild-capture fisheries are ecologically sustainable and well-managed. Fish products from fisheries that meet the MSC’s standard are eligible to use the MSC’s blue ecolabel or otherwise make a claim that they are MSC certified. Today there is over 27000 consumers facing product with MSC label and product originated in MSC certified fisheries are traded in over 100 countries. Global market demand is driving uptake of fisheries entering the MSC program and today around 10-12% of the global wild capture catches is certified against the MSC standard. In return the ever-increasing market demand incentivise for fisheries to improve to get certifications and continue to improve to maintain the certifications.

The MSC’s standard for sustainable fishing is comprised of three core principles that require:

1) healthy fish stocks
2) that the fishery does not jeopardise the supporting ecosystem
3) that management systems ensure the long-term future of all resources

Based on this standard, the MSC assessment process reviews 28 performance indicators (Pi’s) about the fishery’s performance and management to determine a fishery’s sustainability. These performance indicators are grouped under each of the MSC’s three main principles described above. Each performance indicator is scored from 60 to 100. If one fall below 60 then the fishery fails, but if one scores between 60-80 and average score on principle 1,2 and 3 are above 80, then the fishery conditionally pass, but the fishery client is obliged improve the score so by end of 5 years’ certificate all Pi are at 80 level or higher.

MSC has documented in Global Impacts Reports hundreds of improvements which include development of harvest control rules, improved seabed mapping, management etc.

In this presentation, there will be described how volunteer market based program has incentivised for hundreds of improvements in the global fisheries.