Aquaculture for all

Dutch Oyster Fisheries Achieve MSC Certification

Sustainability Oysters Economics +7 more

NETHERLANDS - The two fisheries of the Dutch Oyster Association have achieved certification to the MSC standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries. Native oysters (Ostrea edulis) and Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) harvested by these fisheries are now eligible to bear the blue MSC ecolabel - an assurance to buyers and shoppers that the product originates from a certified source.

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The assessment was conducted by independent certifier Intertek Moody Marine.

The oyster fisheries are located in the Dutch North Sea coastal region of the Eastern Scheldt (Oosterschelde) and Lake Grevelingen (Grevelingenmeer) . There are about 30 companies and individuals active in these fisheries that together control nearly the whole supply of Dutch oysters.

The native and Pacific oysters are caught by means of a ‘kor’, a special net that scrapes the oysters from the bed. The members of the Dutch Oyster Association catch about 700,000 native oysters and about 35 million Pacific oysters annually. Both fisheries use a Catch and Grow (CAG) system to enhance oyster stocks. There is no TAC as this is an enhanced fishery. The oysters are mainly sold on the Belgian, German, French and Italian market.

Jaap de Rooij, secretary of the Dutch Oyster Association says: “By earning the MSC certificate the Dutch oyster sector has proved that oysters in the Netherlands are harvested in a sustainable way. The sector is very proud to join those species, shell and crustaceans that already have obtained MSC certification.”

Nathalie Steins, MSC Manager Benelux, adds: "I am delighted to congratulate the Dutch Oyster Association on obtaining the MSC certificate. Oysters from their oyster fisheries will enable us to meet a growing demand for MSC certified shell fish in the northern European market."

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