Standards

Marine Aquarium Council Certification

Marine Aquarium Council Certification

Governing Organization

Marine Aquarium Council

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Assessment Type

Third party assessed by non-verified bodies

Memberships

ISEAL Alliance Member

Sectors Covered

Food, Beverage and Agriculture

Issues Covered

CSR, Environmental Management, Ethical Trade

Description

The Marine Aquarium Council was created in 1998 by key stakeholders to provide voluntary standards and an eco-labeling system for the marine aquarium trade. Since then, MAC has worked with fisheries, industry operators, and stakeholders to develop certification programs at 21 fisheries in the Philippines, Indonesia, Fiji, Hawaii, and the UK, covering over 400,000 hectares of waters, 50,000 hectares of reefs, and 1,000 hectares of no-take zones. Nearly 100 certificates have been issued to fisheries, importers, exporters, and retailers to date across Southeast Asia, North America, and Europe. Our programs have helped to achieve direct and indirect social, conservation, and economic benefits in source countries while, at the same time, increasing the number of certified organisms channeled to hobbyists worldwide. MACs concept was based on the idea that consumers should be able to purchase an eco-labeled product that demonstrates the industry’s commitment to supporting ecosystem conservation and biological diversity. While the voluntary standards movement is rapidly gaining acceptance worldwide as a viable business solution, the MAC system has had difficulty in gaining market traction, even though the organization continues to be supported by the largest importers in both the US and Europe. Since 1998, MAC has encountered a number of challenges, such as a lack of regulatory presence in collector communities, roving fisherman, long supply lines, and lofty certification costs. As a result, questions continue to exist regarding whether voluntary standards and certification are the appropriate methods to accomplish the task at hand, if additional regulation is warranted and, furthermore, whether MAC is truly the organization to manage such a system.

Sustainability Issues

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