Four new categories are introduced in the awards, celebrating achievements across the sustainable seafood industry

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) UK’s annual Awards, which celebrate outstanding achievements and performance in sustainable fishing and seafood, will for a second-year running be streamed from the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth on 7th October 2021. 

Four new categories are being introduced for the first time in what will be the MSC UK’s 8th annual awards. These will be:

  • ‘MSC UK Fisherman of the Year’ – peer-nominated, scored by an expert judging panel and awarded to a fisherman who has gone above and beyond in championing the importance of sustainability in/for the catching sector.
  • ‘MSC UK Product of the Year’ – self-nominated, scored by our expert judging panel and awarded for exceptional efforts in new product innovation and commitment to rewarding and promoting sustainable fishing practices.
  • ‘MSC UK Pet Food Brand of the Year’ – self-nominated, scored by our expert judging panel and awarded to a pet food brand that has taken innovative steps to introduce new MSC products and promote the importance certified sustainable fish in pet food.
  • ‘MSC UK Social Media Hero of the Year’ – judged by the MSC and awarded for innovative and original partner communications across social media.

A full list of MSC UK Award categories for 2021 can be viewed here.

George Clark, MSC UK & Ireland Programme Director said: “Following the unprecedented challenges of the past year, it is exciting to be able to celebrate the incredible hard work of those dedicated to delivering sustainable seafood to consumers across the UK.

“We are particularly thrilled to be able to introduce four new categories this year and look forward to celebrating virtually with everyone. We will be sharing further announcements about the event and awards in due course.”

MSC UK ambassador, acclaimed restaurateur, chef and author, Mitch Tonks, will be on the expert judging panel along with CJ Jackson, chief executive of Billingsgate Seafood School, Marcus Coleman chief executive of Seafish and Bryce Stewart, marine ecologist and fisheries biologist at York University.

For the first time MSC is also welcoming the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), who will be presenting a guest award, ASC UK Retailer of the Year, recognising the progress made by the farmed seafood sector over the past year in the UK. 

Maud van den Haspel, ASC UK Market Development Manager said: “We’re delighted to be joining the MSC at their awards this year to also celebrate the ever-expanding choice of responsible farmed seafood in the UK, and congratulate the hard work of all those who make it possible.” 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown bringing significant challenges to educational institutions and across the foodservice sector, the MSC is withholding the University of the Year and Menu of the Year categories for this year.

The winners’ award will once again be designed and manufactured using 3D printing by Cornish-based J Supplied 3D. It will be made in collaboration with Fishy Filaments, who recycle fishing nets from the MSC certified hake fishery in Cornwall into engineering grade nylon filament. Fishy Filaments’ innovative harbour-side recycling technology was invented in Cornwall and saves about 98% of carbon emissions when compared to using equivalent virgin material. MSC will be unveiling the unique awards on the day in October, which will be designed by local artist Charlotte Dawe.