Danish aquaculture feed company BioMar has confirmed that it will cease sourcing Atlanto-Scandian herring and blue whiting following the announcement that the fisheries’ certifications against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard are to be withdrawn.
In a published response to the eco-labels being revoked, BioMar said that it was very disappointing to witness the suspension and subsequent loss of the fisheries’ certification, but that five years ago, it had made a commitment to the use of certified fishmeal and fish oil and would continue to honor the pledge.
“We are working closely with our customers to address this unfortunate situation and we will make sure they are fully serviced. Our customers produce high-quality, sustainable seafood and they demand responsibly sourced material. We will continue to honor our commitment and agreements with them,” the company said. “We do not foresee a situation of purchasing uncertified material before a credible initiative is established that outlines clear guidelines with measurable targets, which would ultimately lead to the recertification of the fisheries. We will work closely with the industry and other stakeholder groups like North Atlantic Pelagic Advocacy (NAPA) to see if credible improvement plans can be established.”
MSC announced at the start of December that it will be suspending the certifications of the Atlanto-Scandian herring and blue whiting fisheries as of 30 December, 2020. The announcement followed months of warnings that the fisheries were at a high risk of losing their MSC certificates, due to quotas being set above the recommended levels by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES).
The herring fisheries being suspended include: ISF Norwegian and Icelandic herring trawl and seine (Iceland); SPSG, DPPO, PDFA, SPFPO, and KFO Atlanto-Scandian purse-seine and pelagic trawl herring (E.U. and United Kingdom); Faroese pelagic organization Atlanto-Scandian herring (Faroe); and Norway spring spawning herring (Norway).
The blue whiting fisheries being suspended are: Norway Northeast Atlantic blue whiting; PFA, DPPO, KFO, SPSG, and Compagnie des Pêches St Malo Northeast Atlantic blue whiting Pelagic Trawl; Faroese Pelagic Organization Northeast Atlantic blue whiting; and the ISF Iceland Northeast Atlantic blue whiting.