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100% MSC Certified Mussel Exports for Denmark

DENMARK - The Vilsund Blue Limfjord rope-grown mussel fishery has secured certification to the MSC standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries. The Limfjord fisherys achievements means 100 per cent of Danish mussel exports are now eligible to carry the internationally recognised, blue MSC ecolabel.

The first Danish mussel fishery to enter the MSC programs full assessment did so in April 2008. Since then, five Danish mussel fisheries have undergone the same rigorous and transparent process and have all succeeded in proving their activities to be sustainable and well-managed.

Minna Epps, Regional Manager for the Baltic Sea region says: The dedication towards sustainable fishing practices demonstrated by the Danish mussel industry is truly an inspiration and a model to follow for others. We congratulate them warmly and hope their engagement will create a wave of support through customers who will choose their products.

Denmarks MSC certified blue shell mussel fisheries are spread from the Limfjord in the north-west of the Jutland island, through its eastern coast down to the Isefjord on the Zealand island in the south-east. A total volume of 42 500 MT are being offered for sale locally or exported to markets that range from Europe to the Middle East.

The Vilsund Blue fishery operates in the Limfjord in Denmark between May and September, where it grows and harvests approximately 1000-2000 tonnes of rope-grown mussels every year. The fishery produces mussels with little or no impact on wild mussel stocks or on the marine environment. Mussel larvae are harvested from the plankton and grown to full size on the mussel farms. All of the cultivation activity takes place on ropes, which have very little effect on their surroundings, and the cultivation process requires no external inputs of food or any chemicals. There is a robust management system in place through the Danish Directorate of Fisheries, and the mussel farming industry is working closely with regulators and scientists to develop the industry sustainably.

Mr Sren Mattesen, Vilsund Blue says: We are happy to be able to offer our clients and consumers a simple way of supporting sustainably caught seafood, by choosing our MSC ecolabelled products. We committed ourselves to this many years ago and we are proud to contribute to the variety of MSC certified products and to be one of the leading Danish companies to do so.

This is a major step in the acknowledgement of sustainable practices in inland waters. Vilsund Blue have shown dedication and continuous efforts in their goal of achieving MSC certification and have, through this process, contributed to the development of wider knowledge and enhanced dialogue among the stakeholders involved, says Helene Tivemark, Fisheries Outreach officer in the Baltic Sea region.

The MSCs policy on enhanced fisheries permits fisheries that deploy a defined range of interventions to enter the programme. Partially grown mussels are a good example of an enhanced fishery which falls within scope of the MSC certification requirements.

Lucy Towers

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