First Poland fishery enters MSC assessment


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
November 22, 2013

The Eastern Baltic cod fishery has become the first fishery from Poland to enter into Marine Stewardship Council assessment.

The Poland Eastern Baltic cod fishery is made up of five fishing organizations with 134 vessels. The fishermen use trawls, long lines and gillnets to catch cod (Gadus morhua). The annual total catch amounts to an average of 5,500 tons. The cod is sold mainly on the domestic market and is exported to European countries such as Germany and France.

The Eastern Baltic has benefited from reduced fishing pressure, increased recruitment and a longterm management plan which has seen the cod stock rebuild to healthy levels. Danish and German fisheries harvesting the stock have already achieved MSC certification.

“We are taking up the challenge and are having our fishing activities assessed for environmental sustainability. By means of the certificate we want to show that we use the fishing resource in a responsible manner and that we are ready to confirm this through an independent auditor,” Marcin Radkowski, president of the Kołobrzeska Grupa Producentów Rybs, one of the five fishing organizations said. “We are certain that we have made the right decision in applying for assessment as the MSC standard is considered the world’s most rigorous and comprehensive set of criteria for sustainable fishing and the MSC ecolabel has a high level of acceptance and recognition.”

“It is great to see a Polish fishery seeking to join other certified fisheries already harvesting Eastern Baltic cod. Their participation will bring further improvements to fisheries management in the region, and deliver more environmental benefits for the Baltic marine ecosystem. They are helping promote the transformation of the Polish seafood market to a sustainable basis, and maintain seafood as a key resource for the region,” said Anna Debicka, MSC’s project manager in Poland

MSC’s involvement in Poland is made possible by support from the Foundation BalticSea2020. The aim of the partnership is to accelerate the introduction of the MSC certification and to raise awareness of the MSC ecolabel in the entire Baltic Sea region.

“With 40 million inhabitants and a large Baltic Sea fishing fleet and industry, Poland is an important country for the MSC to be present in. We think it is of great value that a Polish fishery has joined the MSC program. If successful, the Polish people will know that the fish they purchase is fished on sustainable and well managed Baltic fish stocks,” said Conrad Stralka, executive director BalticSea2020.

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