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German Cod Fishery Applies For MSC Ecolabel

Cod Sustainability +3 more

GERMANY - Kstenfischer Nord eG Heiligenhafen, a cod catching fishery from the eastern Baltic Sea, has applied for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification.

The fishery will now undergo an independent assessment to show if they meet the MSC standard for sustainable fishing. The assessment process will be led by Food Certification International (FCI) and is estimated to take around 14 months. If successful, the fishery will be eligible to show the blue MSC ecolabel on its cod catch from the eastern Baltic Sea. “Küstenfischer Nord eG“ is the fifth German fishery to enter the MSC programme, with one already certified and four currently in assessment.

FCI will gather an expert team of scientists to assess the fishery against the 31 indicators of the MSC standard covering the stock situation in the eastern Baltic Sea, the impacts of the fishery on the marine ecosystem, and the management system of the fishery.

Ten vessels of “Küstenfischer Nord eG“ operating with pelagic and bottom trawls have applied for MSC assessment. For 2010, their total annual catch quota amounts to 1,200 tonnes of cod (Gadus morhua). The cod from this fishery is sold mainly to France (74 percent) and Holland (25 percent), only one percent is sold fresh from Heiligenhafen to German customers.

"We are rising to the challenge of MSC certification,“ says Jörn Paustian, Project Manager at Küstenfischer Nord eG.

“By means of the certificate we want to show that we use the fishing resource in a responsible manner and that we are ready to confirm this through an independent auditor. We are certain that we have made the right decision in applying for assessment as the MSC label has a high level of acceptance and recognition.”