Canadian sablefish nets MSC certification

The Marine Stewardship Council on Thursday announced that Canada's Pacific sablefish fishery operating within the country's exclusive economic zone has earned certification as well-managed and sustainable.

This is the fifth British Columbia fishery and 11th Canadian fishery to receive the MSC eco-label.

Wild Canadian Sablefish was the client for the two-unit assessment, and Moody Marine Ltd. was the certifier. The first unit was for vessels using longline Korean traps and the second for vessels using longline hook and line. There are currently 35 licensed vessels harvesting sablefish in the area.

Canada's 2010-11 sablefish quota is set at 2,350 metric tons. About 75 percent of the catch is exported to Japan, while much of the rest is shipped to the United States, Europe, China and the Middle East. Only about 5 percent stays in the domestic market.

"As part of the Groundfish Integration Program for British Columbia, this sablefish fishery has already implemented a number of positive measures to improve sustainability such as 100 percent electronic at-sea monitoring," said Kerry Coughlin, regional director for MSC Americas. "It is great to see the region making such a strong commitment to environmental sustainability."

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