Canada's Coldwater Shrimp Fishery Earns MSC Certification


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
August 18, 2008

The Marine Stewardship Council of London yesterday announced that the Canadian northern prawn trawl fishery is now certified as sustainable and well managed and can bear the MSC eco-label. It is Canada's first fishery and the world's second shrimp fishery to earn MSC certification.

With annual landings of more than 177.7 million pounds, the coldwater shrimp is the world's largest MSC-certified coldwater shrimp fishery. The United Kingdom is the primary market for the shrimp, which is also shipped to Europe and the United States, among other markets.

The northern prawn (Pandalus borealis) is much smaller than tropical shrimp but is well known for its sweet, flavorful meat.

"The Marine Stewardship Council extends hearty congratulations to the Canadian northern prawn trawl fishery for this achievement," says Brad Ack, regional director for MSC Americas. "This is a notable milestone, as northern prawns are the first Canadian fishery to gain MSC certification, and we are looking forward to others following. Seafood buyers around the world can now add one of the largest wild shrimp fisheries to their 'buy list' of fisheries that have MSC's independent, third-party assurance of sustainability."

"Canadians are increasingly aware of and concerned about buying seafood that has been responsibly fished using sustainable fishing methods," adds Inge van den Berg, VP of public affairs and investor relations of Loblaw Co. Ltd., Canada's largest food retailer. "We are committed to and look forward to further expanding our offerings as more fisheries, like the Canadian northern prawn trawl fishery, become MSC-certified."

The fishery's assessment, conducted by independent certifier Moody Marine Ltd., took approximately 22 months to complete. More than 120 fisheries are engaged in the MSC program with 32 certified, 76 under assessment and another 20 to 30 in confidential pre-assessment. Together the fisheries record annual catches of more than 5 million tons of seafood.

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