First Asia Fishery Earns MSC Certification
The Kyoto Danish Seine Fishing Federation (KDSFF) snow crab and flathead flounder fishery in Japan today became the first Asian fishery and 33rd worldwide to be certified as well managed and sustainable under the Marine Stewardship Council program.
Established in 1944 as a nonprofit, KDSFF comprises 15 vessels. In addition to snow crab and flathead flounder, the fleet harvests sand fish and Japanese Argentine (a smelt-like fish). Its average annual catch over the past three years is 811 metric tons.
Japan's largest retailer, Aeon, which introduced its first MSC-labeled seafood product in 2006, already plans to offer MSC-labeled flathead flounder.
"Aeon is actively promoting action to provide sustainable seafood mainly through our private brand 'Topvalu Green Eye' products together with our customers," says Yasuyuki Yamamoto of Aeon.
Adds MSC CEO Rupert Howes, "This certification is a historic milestone - not only the first Japanese fishery to achieve MSC certification but also the first in Asia. I am personally delighted to be able to congratulate the KDSFF … on their achievement. We very much hope the leadership position taken by KDSFF will inspire other Japanese fisheries to move forward into the MSC assessment process over the coming months."
More than 120 fisheries are engaged in the London-based nonprofit's program - 33 are certified, 78 are in assessment and another 20 to 30 are in confidential pre-assessment. Collectively, the fisheries produce more than 5 million metric tons of seafood annually.