The Marine Stewardship Council on Friday announced that the world's first mussel fishery received MSC certification as well-managed and sustainable.

Denmark's Limfjord by Vilsund Muslinge Industri (VMI) blue mussel harvest is also the country's first fishery and 61st worldwide to earn the distinction.

The harvest comprises 27 fishing vessels that produce about 30,000 metric tons of mussels annually. The mussels are landed and processed at the VMI facilities in Nykøbing Mors and Aggersund and sold live or ready-shelled, cooked and frozen to markets across Europe.

"At a time when the Danish mussel industry faces heavy competition from inexpensive imported mussels from Chile, MSC certification will improve sales of our mussels to conscientious consumers in all markets where we operate," said Søren Mattesen, VMI managing director. "I am particularly proud that we can assure our commercial partners and consumers that, when they buy VMI mussels bearing the MSC eco-label, they are choosing a sustainably sourced product."

The fishery applied for MSC certification in 2007. An objection was lodged by the Danish Society for Nature Conservation in September 2009 but withdrawn in December. It was certified by Moody Marine.

Earlier this week, Portugal's purse-seine sardine fishery obtained MSC certification, the country's first fishery to do so, while the Western Australia rock lobster fishery and Alaska pollock fishery were recommended for recertification.


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