ShapeShapeauthorShapecrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

First sardine fishery gets hooked on MSC

by the Fish Site Editor
10 October 2006, at 1:00am

UK - The Gulf of California sardine fishery in Mexico has applied for assessment to the Marine Stewardship Councils (MSC)[1] environmental standard for well-managed and sustainable wild capture fisheries. The fishery is the first sardine fishery in the world to engage with the MSCs leading environmental certification and eco-labelling programme.

First sardine fishery gets hooked on MSC - UK - The Gulf of California sardine fishery in Mexico has applied for assessment to the Marine Stewardship Councils (MSC)[1] environmental standard for well-managed and sustainable wild capture fisheries. The fishery is the first sardine fishery in the world to engage with the MSCs leading environmental certification and eco-labelling programme.

In seeking MSC certification we have the long-term success of our fishery in mind. We believe the sardine fishery operates sustainably and are looking for independent confirmation of our fishers good practices, says Leon Tissot Plant from the National Chamber of the Fishing Industry in Mexico.

Rupert Howes, Chief Executive of the MSC, welcomes the fisherys move and adds: This is the first feed grade fishery in the world to move forward into the assessment process. We anticipate that this development will be of considerable interest to many within the global aquaculture industry and European retailers in particular who are becoming increasingly concerned about the environmental sustainability and provenance of the feed used in aquaculture production systems. If successful, we very much hope to see both business to business and end consumer labelled products emerging from this fishery.

An independent evaluation of the Mexican sardine fishery will be led by Scientific Certification Systems [2], an accredited certification body, and conducted by a team of experts who will examine the status of the fish stock, the impact of the fishery on the marine eco-system and the effectiveness of management systems. If the fishery is certified and traceability is established, the fishery may use the distinctive blue MSC eco-label on product packaging. The MSCs eco-label offers consumers a quick and easy way to identify the best environmental choice in seafood.

In total, over 50 fisheries with annual catches of more than 3.5 million tonnes of seafood are engaged in the MSC programme. They represent 42 percent of the worlds wild salmon catch, 32 percent of the prime whitefish catch, and 18 percent of the lobster catches for human consumption. 21 fisheries are now certified to the MSC standard and more than 400 seafood products carry the blue MSC eco-label in 26 countries.[3]

The Gulf of California sardine fishery in Mexico is part of a bigger fishery that also targets anchovies and herrings and catches a total of 350,000 tonnes of fish per year. Annual sardine catches throughout the Sea of Cortez amount to about 100,000 tonnes and a proportion of this catch will be considered in the assessment. Around 70 percent of the sardines are processed into fishmeal; the remaining 30 percent is canned and sold to domestic and foreign markets. In 2006 the fishery produced 2,700,000 cases of canned sardines.

TheFishSite News Desk

the Fish Site Editor