Directors, began to focus on reorganizing the company’s existing
programs and processes. To accomplish this effectively, an
overhaul of MAC’s key objectives was required, which now read
• Ensure the health and preservation of marine life through the
development and establishment of best practices, standards,
and certification for those engaged in the collection and care of
• Educate the general public on the importance of the aquarium
industry’s role in the conservation of coral reefs and other
• Provide outreach and training to promote sustainable fishery
and handling practices.
MAC Certification System
Once the mission and objectives were revised, it became
apparent that the next step would be to significantly improve
the MAC certification system and underlying standards. Based
on lessons learned over the past 10 years, the system as it was
initially designed was deemed too cumbersome for operators to
utilize, rather easy to misinterpret, and much too difficult to
implement in remote fishing villages.
Revisions and improvements therefore must be made if the
MAC certification system is to truly become widely accepted
industry practice and result in the sustainable conservation and
restoration of coral reefs and marine ecosystems worldwide. Based
on feedback from a number of key stakeholders, supporters, and
dissenters, the MAC Board of Directors has approved a number of
major changes to be made system-wide in 2008, including:
• Combining the existing Ecosystem Fishery Management (EFM) and
Collection Fishing and Holding (CFH) standards into a comprehensive
stepwise Fisheries Management standard that results in a “Certified
Sustainably Harvested” product label tagged to organisms.
Courtesy of Marine Aquarium Council
A certified fisher on his way to a collection site in the Philippines.
• Finalizing the Mariculture and Aquaculture Management (MAM)
standard with integrated stepwise components, resulting in
a “Certified Sustainably Produced” product label tagged to
• Streamlining the existing Handling, Husbandry, and Transport
(HHT) standard into a more user-friendly, stepwise approach for
exporters and importers, resulting in a “Certified Sustainably
Handled” label tagged to operators.
• Development of a retailer self-accreditation process to replace
formal HHT certification as a means to encourage more certified
product to reach hobbyists worldwide.