Faroese herring fishery nets MSC certification


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
March 3, 2010

The Faroese Pelagic Organization (FPO) on Thursday announced the Faroese Atlanto-Scandian (Norwegian Spring Spawning) herring fishery has obtained Marine Stewardship Council certification for sustainability.

The fishery follows one of the largest herring stocks in the world as it migrates from spawning grounds along the Norwegian continental shelf. It includes five large and technologically advanced vessels, four refrigerated seawater (RSW) vessels and one processing vessel.

An independent assessment team confirmed that the herring stock is abundant and able to sustain fishing effort, that there were low bycatch and discard rates, and that the fishery was well managed with clear and defined objectives. They also concluded that the environmental impact of the fishery on the marine habitat and ecosystem is minimal, as there is no physical contact between the seabed and the purse seines and pelagic trawls operated by the FPO-vessels. In addition, the entire catch is used, with fish meal and fish oil produced from the processing waste.

“We are delighted to have completed the process of certification and to have done so within nine months of entering assessment,” said Jógvan Jespersen of the Faroese Pelagic Organization. “It is critical to us that fish stocks remain sustainable into the future. The market for certified sustainable herring is strong and growing, and we look forward to being able to sell our certified catch.”

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