The Dutch gill net fishermen of the Cooperative Fisheries Organization (CVO) have decided not to continue with their Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certificate for sole.

The CVO gill net fishermen obtained the MSC certificate for sole in November 2009.

After fishing under the certificate for four years, the group said the MSC has brought limited benefits for the gill net fishermen.

“Several attempts to balance the financial burden with the revenues over the past years, did not yield enough to further maintain the certificate,” CVO said.

“Although the MSC certificate has underlined the sustainable nature of the gill net fishery and has brought them public and independent recognition, sales of MSC sole have no delivered the expected price uplift or access to specific markets.

“This combined with the high financial burden for maintenance and extension of the certificate, has made continuation of the MSC certificate for this small-scale fishery an unrealistic goal.

As of 24 November, there will be no more MSC sole landed under the current certificate.

The CVO said it has had multiple meetings with MSC about a desired reduction in certification costs for small-scale fisheries, but it has not led to a reduction in costs for the upcoming annual audit in November.

However, the CVO said that when the MSC implements changes in the long-term that will bring certification for small-scale fisheries within reach it may rejoin the program.

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