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Barents Sea Cod & Haddock Obtain MSC Certification

CHINA - The Barents Sea cod and haddock fisheries in cooperation with Ocean Trawlers Group have been certified as sustainable under the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) environmental standard for sustainable and well managed fisheries.

Around 87,000 metric tonnes of Russian cod and 34 000 metric tonnes of Russian haddock will now be eligible to display the blue MSC ecolabel in the market place.

The certified Barents Sea fisheries comprise sixteen Russian vessels using demersal trawls to catch cod and haddock inside the Norwegian and Russian Exclusive Economic Zone and in international waters.

Fishing for cod and haddock in the Barents Sea takes place all year round under the management of the Norwegian and Russian authorities. Atlantic cod and haddock are key components of the UK fish and chips market and the certified Barents Sea fisheries already supply a large part of that market. Ocean Trawlers expect that share to rise in 2011.

“The MSC certification of the Barents Sea cod and haddock is the ultimate recognition of many years hard work to improve the transparency and sustainability of the fisheries”, says co-founder Magnus Roth in Ocean Trawlers.

“In order to achieve successful certification to MSC standards Ocean Trawlers, in close cooperation with the harvesters, has developed and implemented a number of innovative initiatives. The company will continue to work on further improvements of the cod and haddock fisheries involving appropriate scientific and environmental expertise.

“A successful certification to MSC standards means for us a new level of recognition as being the market leader. It opens new opportunities for sustainable business in harvesting, processing and marketing of such high quality and nutritious living marine resources as the Barents Sea cod and haddock.”

“The MSC certification of the Ocean Trawlers Barents Sea cod and haddock fisheries confirms the great improvements that have taken place in these fisheries over the last five years”, says Camiel Derichs, MSC Deputy Director Europe.

“In 2005 illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) was considered a major threat to the sustainable management of these fisheries. Rigorous action from Ocean Trawlers, colleague fishing companies, fisheries managers and control authorities resulted in improved catch documentation, and strengthened port control. This, combined with strong traceability requirements in many markets, has significantly reduced IUU fishing for cod and haddock in the Barents Sea according to ICES.

“Improved traceability and strong reduction of IUU fishing, combined with solid management and large stocks of cod and haddock in the Barents Sea allowed Ocean trawlers to successfully pass the assessment against MSC standards. The certification is a true milestone for Russian fisheries in the Barents Sea, and I want to congratulate Ocean Trawlers with their achievements and leadership."

the Fish Site Editor

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