Why choose MRAG for MSC Certification?

Certifying Fisheries and Chain of Custody for a Sustainable Future

MRAG Americas Qualifications

MRAG is uniquely qualified for conducting fishery assessments against the MSC standards. Rather than a certification company that must add fishery expertise, MRAG is a full service natural resources consulting company that does fishery certifications. Our staff of scientists and specialists has expertise in stock assessment, ecosystem-based management, and fishery management. We can draw from our own staff to provide members of assessment teams or bring in specialists from our wide network of top-level scientists. Our scientists have participated in numerous MSC certifications, have provided analyses of fisheries in support of the MSC process, and have conducted strategic analyses for the MSC.

MRAG Americas Policies

As a full service fishery consulting company, MRAG recognizes the potential for conflicts of interest between our consulting work and our certification work. We have established a rigorous policy, approved during our accreditation, that completely separates consultancy from certification for any fishery. MRAG will not provide both certification and consultancy services to a fishery within a two year period. Internal and external review of our work will assure that we do not inadvertently enter into a conflict of interest.

It is the policy of MRAG Americas to ensure that its operations are consistent with defined standards, criteria, and procedures to maintain the highest appropriate levels of quality. To this end, MRAG Americas operates in accordance with a Quality Management Plan (QMP) that defines such standards, and provides the basis for quality improvement. The Quality Management System described in the Plan applies to all areas of fishery and chain of custody certifications performed under the MSC process, and includes consideration of the needs and expectations of the our customers and stakeholders.

Quality Control (QC), Quality Assurance (QA), and Quality Improvement activities related to the collection, analysis, storage and use of fisheries and chain of custody data are prescribed in the Department’s Quality Management Plan (QMP. These activities, responsive to the criteria in the ANSI/ASQC – E4 and ISO 14001: 2002 standards, are necessary to ensure that certifications made by MRAG Americas are based on data management methods and practices that meet or exceed relevant quality standards.

Specifically, it is the policy of MRAG Americas to ensure that:

  • Management provides the resources necessary to develop, implement, maintain, and improve the QMP; and regularly reviews the performance of the QMP for effectiveness in supporting the stated mission of MSC certifications;
  • MSC certifications meet documented standards for accuracy, precision, representation, comparability, and suitability to their intended purposes;
  • MSC certifications are verifiable and defensible, and all components related to their generation are properly documented;
  • Data integrity is maintained and documented, including chain-of-custody and archival control;
  • Quality audits of QMP elements are carried out on a scheduled and documented basis, as are any required corrective actions;
  • Managers, supervisors, and staff throughout MRAG Americas, and its contractors, understand their roles in managing quality; receive the training necessary to meet quality standards for job tasks; and are encouraged to identify and suggest improvements to be made to the QMP.

MSC Client Testimonials

Pacific Seafood Group has worked with MRAG on a regular basis over the last 3 years.  Each engagement with MRAG has been handled with a high degree of Professionalism –  good communication, good organization, good working knowledge of situations and commitment to time frames, have all lead to good outcomes in our engagements MRAG.

-Charles Kirschbaum, Pacific Seafood Group, client for WA pink shrimp

The At-sea Processors Association (APA) is the client for the Alaska pollock MSC certifications.  We were one of the first organizations globally to pursue MSC certification, giving us more than 15 years of experience working in the fishery certification realm.  MRAG’s reputation as a credible, expert authority and its experience working with other independent experts were critical factors in leading us to work with them on maintenance of our MSC certifications.  As the certification body for the Alaska pollock fisheries, MRAG distinguishes itself in its fair treatment of stakeholders and in the high quality of its analyses and reports. MRAG offers a great value in the competitive fishery certification market when considering the bottom-line cost of certification, and that value is enhanced immeasurably by the quality of fishery assessments that are above reproach.   

-Jim Gilmore, At-sea Processors Association, client for Alaska Pollock

As a client for 3 MSC certified fisheries and having been involved in numerous audits and re-certifications over the past decade, I’m very happy with my relationship with MRAG Americas.  Their staff are a pleasure to work with, always well prepared and consistently produce quality reports.

-Brad Pettinger, Oregon Trawl Commission, client for OR pink shrimp and Pacific hake

“MRAG America’s auditors are professional, experienced and efficient, which provided this fishery with the confidence and assurance a robust and defensible analysis of the fishery against the MSC criteria was delivered.  Richard Banks is a great team leader, who cuts through the information, to lead his team to a thorough result.”

-Simon Clark, Spencer Gulf and West Coast Prawn Trawlers Association, client for Spencer Gulf King Prawn

For more information please contact:

Amanda Stern-Pirlot
Director Fishery Certification Division
MRAG Americas – Seattle
1631 15th Ave W, Suite 201
Seattle, WA 98119
+1 206-669-0439

Customer License Code MSCI0408