Case study

Reference: IMD-2-0083

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Transforming the global fishing industry: The Marine Stewardship Council at full sail?

By Emeritus Professor Ulrich Steger, Alexander Nick, Oliver Salzmann and Aileen Ionescu-Somers

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an NGO –headquartered in London and established by WWF and Unilever in 1997 to set up a certification and eco-labelling system for sustainable fishing. The case describes the MSC’s initial and more recent challenges including the Tragedy of the Commons, a wide range of less willing stakeholders, and the complexity of certifying fisheries on sustainability criteria. It also outlines management decisions to meet at least some of the challenges: improved transparency and engagement with stakeholders, new governance structures and certification methodologies.

Learning Objective

Participants should;

  1. See the challenges associated with the certification of sustainable business practices (in general and in fisheries in particular)
  2. Reflect on the institutional dilemma presented by the wide range of often conflicting stakeholder demands
  3. See the necessity to carry out strategic (i.e. focused) stakeholder engagement (find the most important allies) and establish effective governance structures.
KeywordsCertification, Corporate Sustainability Management, Fishery, Non-Governmental Organization, Stakeholder Management, Sustainability
SettingsEurope, Global
1997-2006
TypePublished Sources
Copyright©2006
LanguageEnglish
Related materialTeaching notes, video
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Reference: IMD-2-0083

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Case study

Reference: IMD-2-0083

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