Fisheries certification update: July 2013

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Source: Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

In the period since March, new fisheries of all sizes from around the globe have been newly certified to the MSC standard for sustainability.

Spanish cooperative's artisanal shellfish fisheries certified

Fisheries managed by the 400 member Galician Ría de Arosa Cooperative, based in Boiro (Abanqueiro, La Coruña) were certified to the MSC standard in May. All members take part in environmental management tasks to ensure the sustainability of their clam and cockle fisheries.

Historic Hokkaido scallop fishery ups its international recognition

Japan's Hokkaido Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Association’s scallop fishery already claims the world's largest scallop harvest. Now, through continued commitment to sustainable management and best practice, that harvest is eligible to bear the MSC's blue ecolabel.

Chairman of the cooperative recognised the significance of years of hard work: 'Hokkaido’s scallop is now established as the region’s key fish species, thanks to its stable catch levels, brought about by our ancestors’ huge efforts. We feel honoured that those commitments are now globally recognised through MSC certification.'

A third of the catch is exported to South East Asia, Europe and the USA, where scallop demand is high.

Sound management makes North-east Atlantic whitefish sustainable

The large year-round Fishing Industry Union of the North Barents and Norwegian Seas cod and haddock fishery achieved the MSC standard in June. Landings of these two in-demand species are now eligible to become certified sustainable products.

'The Barents Sea has always been the pride of our region and the meaning of life for us. Our main target is to preserve its resources for generations to come.' Says FIUN coordinator, Olga Pokrovskaya.

In the Faroe Islands, two companies, catching 50% of the region’s saithe, came together to enter the MSC program. Their 18 month assessment was completed successfully in July. The fishery includes 24 boats using demersal trawls, long lines and jiggers to catch saithe on the Faroe plateau and Faroe Bank. The saithe is processed on land and sold to markets across Europe.

Three fishery firsts help cement Canada as sustainability leader

In April, the Newfoundland and Labrador snow crab fishery, the province’s highest value fishing venture, achieved an incredible milestone as the 200th fishery to achieve MSC certification.

Rebuilding a valuable resource through cooperative effort and strict management controls has led to the Canadian halibut fishery becoming the first of its kind to be MSC certified.

Elsewhere, Îles-de-la-Madeleine lobster has become Canada’s first inshore lobster fishery to become certified. The Magdalen Islands’ seasonal catch of American lobster is taken by 325 registered vessels, and processing employs approximately 10 per cent of the population.

Kerry Coughlin, regional director for MSC Americas noted: 'more than one-half of fishery landings in Canada are now certified to the MSC standard, helping to cement Canada's role as a leader in the global sustainable seafood movement.'

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