After announcing that Fish McBites will be added to menus, McDonald's says that all of its fish products will only be sustainable fish which has been approved by the Marine Stewardship Council. The Chicago Tribune says that McDonald's began using sustainable fish in 2005, but underwent a thorough audit to make sure they were in complete compliance with the council.
This decision makes McDonald's the first national restaurant chain to place the MSC seal on its products:
MSC certification indicates that over 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants across the US have met the MSC Chain of Custody standard for traceability, which is the ability to track the fish all the way back through the supply chain to the fishery.
Under the MSC certification program, these fisheries have been assessed by independent scientists against three core principles: the health of the fish stock, the impact of the fishery on the ecosystem and the management system that oversees the fishery.