I have written before about how the certification of a fishery by the Marine Stewardship Council is not sufficient cause to think it is genuinely sustainable (even before factors other than fish numbers, such as fossil fuel use by ships, are taken into account). More evidence for this has been forthcoming recently. Now, they have decided to certify the British Columbia sockeye salmon fishery, despite how the fish numbers are dwindling and subject to an ongoing inquiry. Last year’s run on the Fraser river was less than 10% of what had been expected. The recent history of salmon in BC is a catalog of failure. The decision to certify regardless certainly doesn’t leave the MSC looking very credible. Their decision doesn’t become official until a 15-day complaint period has concluded, and people will hopefully be able to persuade them to think differently during that span.
For those who really care about environmental issues and are willing to make personal choices to reflect that, I recommend avoiding fish (and other sorts of meat) entirely. Keeping fishing activity at a sustainable level just seems to require more political integrity and long-term thinking than any of the world’s governments can muster. It’s so much easier to grab a haul now, earn a bundle, and leave the mess for those who will come later.