Faroe Islands cod and haddock fisheries achieve MSC certification

Published on
September 20, 2021
Faroese Whitefish trawler Gadus, which has been certified by Global Seafood Assurances in accordance with the Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard (RFVS)

The Faroe Islands cod, haddock, tusk, and ling fishery has achieved Marine Stewardship Council certification for its Atlantic cod and haddock catch. The new certification for cod and haddock is an extension of the current MSC certification for ling and tusk (cusk) in Faroese waters.

In December 2020, Faroe Islands Minister of Fisheries Jacob Vestergaard made an executive order to introduce a scientifically-based management plan limiting the number of fishing days for the cod and haddock fisheries.

“Our objective is to manage the fishing stocks under Faroese sovereignty in such a manner that the future generations can obtain the same benefits from our sea resources as the current generations,” Vestergaard said. “I therefore chose to implement a system with a management plan based on scientific advice for each fish species, where we, in a systematic manner, follow the scientific advice to ensure sustainable fisheries. It is very satisfying to see that these efforts have paid off with MSC certification. This benefits all parties, since the world demands sustainably-caught fish products, while we need the income from the fish exports.” 

The fishing industry also created a new unified fishing body, the Faroe Islands Sustainable Fisheries (FISF), with the aim of raising fishing management standards in line with the MSC’s  sustainability standards.

“MSC has a lot of formal requirements to the fisheries and the fisheries management system to meet their principles. That we have been able to achieve this goal is because the Faroese authorities have listened to experts to implement a management plan,” FISF CEO Durita í Grótinum said. “Going forward, it is vital that we follow through in accordance to the management plan for the different fish species to preserve the MSC certification.”   

Photo courtesy of JFK

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