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Danish Saithe Fishery Obtains MSC Certification

DENMARK - The North Sea and Skagerrak Saithe(Pleuronectesplatessa) fishery, jointly managed by the members of the Danish Fishermens Producer Organisation (DFPO), has been certified as sustainable against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) environmental standard for sustainable and well managed fisheries.

Around 7 000 metric tonnes of Danish saithe will now be eligible to display the blue MSC ecolabel in the market place.

The certified DFPO Denmark North Sea and Skagerrak Saithe fishery comprises around 150 vessels using seine, static nets and demersal trawls.

The fishery is subject to the 2004 EU-Norway agreement and is managed according to the EU-Norway harvest control rule which was renewed in December 2008. Sea and landings inspections are carried out by EU national enforcement agencies and the Norwegian coastguard service.

The main markets for Danish saithe are Germany, Netherland, France and Spain. A small proportion of the catch is filleted in Denmark for domestic consumption.

‘As fishermen, our members take pride in a good catch. Landing MSC certification for our saithe fishery is a good catch for us. It documents – in the minutest detail – that we can provide top-quality seafood while making sure that the fantastic diversity of marine life in our seas remain to support the next generation of fishermen. And in this way it tells our discerning consumers that buying Danish saithe is a good catch for them as well’, says DFPO project manager Jonathan Jacobsen.

‘The commitment of the Danish Fishermen (DFPO) to obtain MSC certification for all their fisheries was announced early in 2008. This was an unprecedented commitment from the Danish seafood industry, and has lead to a project that has as its objective to work towards MSC certification for all Danish fisheries. Since then many Danish fisheries have started MSC pre- and full assessment, and several of the key fisheries have already obtained MSC certification (Herring, Mackerel, Mussels). Today we celebrate MSC certification of the North Sea and Skagerrak Saithe fishery, says Camiel Derichs Deputy Director Europe.

‘The North Sea and Skagerrak Saithe fishery has, in an independent assessment by a third party certifier, demonstrated that it is targeting healthy stocks, that it has limited impact on the eco-system, and has shown itself to be well managed overall. Further improvements are required to maintain MSC certification, and conditions to improve environmental performance of this newly certified fishery include, among others, to further document impacts on habitats. The findings of this ongoing work will be used in the management of the fisheries’.

‘In all 50 per cent of all Danish landings for human consumption is certified, and another group of nine important fisheries such as Eastern Baltic cod, and Northern prawns is in full assessment against the MSC standard. The MSC is thankful for the commitment to sustainability of the Danish seafood industry and looks forward to working in partnership with it for years to come. With markets increasingly demanding MSC certified seafood I’m confident that there will be substantial benefits for the North Sea Saithe fisheries’.

the Fish Site Editor

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