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Scotian Shelf Shrimp Fishery Enters MSC Assessment

Crustaceans Sustainability +2 more

US - Northsyde Processing Limited, Produits Belle Baie Lte and the Island Fishermen Cooperative Association have entered the shrimp fishery on the Scotian Shelf into independent, third-party assessment under the Marine Stewardship Councils (MSC) certification programme.

These three companies will have the fishery evaluated against the MSC Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Fishing and, if successful, products sold through these companies will be eligible to bear the MSC ecolabel recognising products from well-managed and sustainable sources.

The fishery under assessment encompasses otter trawl vessels and other harvesters using traps that target shrimp (pandalus borealis) off the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia in Shrimp Fishing Areas 13–15. The assessment of these two harvesting methods of shrimp follows an initial certification completed for trawl fisheries in SFA 13 – 15 against the MSC standard in 2008.

The trap fishery in SFA 13 – 15 is a new unit of certification being put forward for MSC assessment in this area. The shrimp fishery on the Scotian Shelf is managed by Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). Total allowable catches of shrimp in this area have averaged 5,000 metric tonnes in recent years, with harvesting open year round, though focused primarily from April to October.

Jim Kennedy, president of Northsyde Processing Limited, a division of Louisbourg Seafoods Limited, says: “We look forward to having our shrimp certified by the MSC so that we can responsibly meet market demand and continue to grow our company’s presence in the main marketplace for Nova Scotia shrimp, which is in the UK and Europe.”

Produits Belle Baie Ltée and Island Fishermen Cooperative Association participate in a nearby shrimp fishery that has been MSC certified since 2008. Fernand Brideau, speaking for Produits Belle Baie Ltée, says: “MSC certification will be a statement to the market that our shrimp comes from a sustainable and well-managed fishery and will be a perfect complement to our shrimp marketing as a top quality, healthy product that is high in protein, Omega-3 and other minerals.”

Serge Haché, speaking for Island Fishermen Cooperative Association, says: “We are pleased that the Nova Scotia fishery has entered full assessment and we look forward to having this additional component of our supply, if successful, become MSC certified.”