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Saithe Fishery Enters Re-Assessment for MSC Certification

Sustainability Post-harvest Politics +3 more

NORWAY - The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has welcomed the announcement that the Norwegian saithe fishery is seeking re-assessment under the MSCs programme for well-managed and sustainable fisheries.

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The saithe fishery was the first fishery located in Norway to seek MSC certification, back in 2006. In 2008 the fishery was successfully certified to the MSC standard for sustainable fishing. With the re-assessment, which will be carried out by independent certifier Det Norske Veritas (DNV), the fishery is seeking its second five-year MSC certification. If successful, 212.000 tonnes of saithe will continue to carry the MSC eco-label.

The Norwegian saithe fishery targets two distinct stocks: North Sea saithe and North East Arctic saithe. Both parts of the fishery will take part in the re-assessment, which will seek to include those fishing in coastal and off-shore waters using demersal trawl, gill nets, hook and line, purse seines and Danish seines.

Norwegian fisheries have long and proud traditions, and strong fishery management has always been important in our way of living and harvesting in harmony with nature. As a result most of Norwegian seafood is certified by MSC. Now the time has come to renew our certificate for Norwegian saithe. We are certain that every part of the supply chain, from the fisherman to the supermarkets will welcome the assurance that the MSC ecolabel provides to consumers that Norwegian saithe is harvested sustainably, says Marketing Manager Ove Johansen at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Camiel Derichs, MSC Deputy Director Europe says: The Norwegian saithe fisheries were the first fisheries from Norway to obtain MSC certification in June 2008. This was well deserved recognition of the excellent management by Norwegian authorities, and it rewarded the Norwegian industry with long awaited market benefits. Norwegian saithe has since been a very strong performer on the markets, earning preferred access and in some cases premiums. The MSC certification of the saithe fisheries in Norway showed a route for other fisheries from Norway to enter the MSC program, and one can say that as a result of the saithe certification, today the vast majority of Norwegian wild caught seafood is MSC certified. Currently almost 1800 products from Norwegian fisheries carry the MSC eco-label, 200 of these are saithe products. With consumer recognition of the MSC eco-label increasing fast in many markets, I am sure that this number will increase over years to come, provided that recertification is awarded, helping consumers to recognise and reward these sustainable fisheries. .