Faroe Islands' queen scallop fishery achieves Marine Stewardship Council certification

A package of O.C. Joensen Faroese Queen Scallops.

The Faroe Islands queen scallop fishery has obtained Marine Stewardship Council certification.

Hósvík, Faroe Islands-based O.C. Joensen is the sole operator in the fishery. It sought out MSC certification in order to assure its customers of the product’s sustainability, according to the company’s chairman, Andrias Kelduberg.

“We have operated this fishery for several decades, limiting the fishing effort to one vessel for a short fishing season to sustain the biomass of queen scallops and the surrounding ecosystem,” Kelduberg said. “The MSC certificate documenting our fishery as sustainable is very important for our customers, whereby they also can rely on the international organization of experts having evaluated our fishery.”

O.C. Joensen created a new national fishery client organization, Faroe Islands Sustainable Fisheries, to administrate the MSC assessment, working with local government, the research institute of Faroe, and a sustainable fisheries consultant. The fishery was independently certified by a third-party auditor, which assessed the company’s fishing methods and the fishery’s status to ensure stock health, protection of the environment, and ensuring effective management is in place. 

“The certification of the Fishery for queen scallops in Faroese waters is yet another important milestone for the Faroese fishing community,” Faroe Island Sustainable Fisheries Manager Durita í Grótinum said. “We are on a journey of gaining recognition for our constant efforts to manage our seafood resources sustainably. Last year, we achieved certifications of the fisheries for cod and haddock in Faroese waters, whereby all the major demersal fisheries have gained MSC certification. The process of certifying the fishery for queen scallops has been a time-consuming process, but we are very satisfied that our efforts have finally been rewarded. The Faroese Marine Research Institute has played an instrumental role in this process by providing all the necessary data and research to support the certification of the fishery by international scientists.”

The fishery’s certification has been dated to 1 September, 2021, and the MSC eco-label can now be applied to Faroe Islands queen scallop products caught after that date. O.C. Joensen primary sells its queen scallops in the U.S., France, and the U.K

“This fishery has demonstrated it complies with the rigorous MSC fisheries standard and offers another excellent product to the market,” MSC North Atlantic Program Director Gisli Gislason said. “[O.C. Joensen] has been adamant in driving this progress to meet market expectations. We congratulate, welcome, and applaud OCJ and FISF for this achievement.”

Photo courtesy of O.C. Joensen


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