oikosPublicationsCasesTransforming the Global Fishing Industry: The Marine Stewardship Council at Full Sail?

Transforming the Global Fishing Industry: The Marine Stewardship Council at Full Sail?

Case Abstract

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an non-government organisation (NGO) – headquartered in London and established by the World Wildlife Fund (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. For the learning objectives, the 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; and (3) see the necessity to carry out strategic (i.e., focused) stakeholder engagement (find the most important allies) and establish effective governance structures.

Author: Alexander Nick
Institution: IMD Lausanne, Switzerland
Competition Year 2007
Place Finalist
Track Social Entrepreneurship
Key Words Sustainability, Certification, Labelling, Fishing, Non-Government Organisation (NGO), Stakeholder Management, Food and Beverage
Case Purchase Information This case can be purchased from the Case Centre (IMD-2-0083). It is also part of the oikos Case Collection book (Volume 1): Case Studies in Sustainability Management and Strategy published by Greenleaf.