Dutch Parliament Sets Aside Funding for Fishery Certification
The Dutch parliament today voted to set aside 1 million euros (US$1.44 million) for fishery assessment and certification. The funding will be available through the European Fisheries Fund budget.
The vote comes just over a year after Dutch retailers, including Albert Heijn, C1000 and Super de Boer, representing more than 4,500 stores, committed to sourcing seafood only from Marine Stewardship Council-certified fisheries.
The funding follows a joint motion proposed by three parliament members: Ad Koppejan, Lutz Jacobi and Ernst Cramer.
"Over the past year, the Dutch fishing industry has taken huge steps toward improving the sustainability of fish stocks and the fishing industry," says Koppejan. "The agreement the industry, World Wildlife Fund, North Sea Foundation and the Fisheries Minister signed in June committed the Dutch demersal [deepwater] fishing fleet to achieving MSC certification [by] 2012 — the first country-wide strategic initiative in the world. We asked the government to create room in the budget for these and other Dutch fisheries to be assessed in recognition of their commitment to independently verified sustainable fishing."
MSC CEO Rupert Howes adds, "This is an historic move by the Dutch government and will open the doors to certification for a significant number of Dutch fisheries. This is tremendous news. The Netherlands is the first country in the world to make this sort of strategic commitment to certification and I hope that many others will follow."