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Offshore Sea Scallop Fishery Gains MSC Certification

Health Sustainability +2 more

CANADA - The Eastern Canada offshore sea scallop (placopecten magellanicus) fishery operating within the Canadian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the eastern seaboard of Canada has earned Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification having been independently assessed and found to be sustainable and well-managed.

Products from the Eastern Canada offshore sea scallop fishery will now be eligible to bear the blue MSC ecolabel. This is the first scallop fishery in North America to be MSC certified.

Exported worldwide, the sea scallops are harvested using the New Bedford scallop rake or dredge. Established in 1945, the fishery has had an average catch of 6,300 metric tons of shucked scallops annually over the past six years. While the fleet markets some fresh scallops, Frozen at Sea individually quick frozen (IQF) scallops account for nearly 60 per cent of the landings each year.

The client for the assessment was a group of five fishing companies: Adams and Knickle Limited, Clearwater Seafoods Limited Partnership, Comeau’s Sea Foods Limited, LaHave Seafoods Limited, and Ocean Choice International Limited Partnership. The group was coordinated by the Seafood Producers Association of Nova Scotia (SPANS).

“The clients are very pleased that the Eastern Canada offshore sea scallop fishery has been certified against the MSC standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries,” said Roger Stirling, president of SPANS. “The certificate affirms the sustainable management of the fishery.”

“It’s excellent news that the Eastern Canada offshore sea scallop fishery successfully passed the independent assessment and has become North America’s first MSC-certified scallop fishery,” said Kerry Coughlin, regional director for MSC Americas. “There is high market demand for scallops and certification will be a big plus for buyers seeking scallops proven to be from a source managed with long-term sustainability in mind.”