First Portuguese fishery nets MSC eco-label


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
January 13, 2010

The Marine Stewardship Council on Thursday announced that the Portuguese purse-seine sardine fishery has obtained certification as sustainable and well-managed. It’s the country’s first fishery to earn the distinction.

The Portuguese Association of Purse Seine Producer Organization (ANOPCERCO), which represents 95 percent of the country’s sardine production, is now eligible to put the MSC eco-label on its products. ANOPCERCO produces more than 50,000 metric tons of sardines annually.

“Our experience over the past 17 months has been extremely positive. The MSC assessment process has allowed us to reopen the debate on the sustainable management of fishery resources, not only within the fishing industry but also externally. Fishers and commercial partners have shown a keen interest throughout the process,” said Humberto Jorge, ANOPCERCO non-executive president.

“They have understood what is at stake and how they can benefit from MSC certification,” added Jorge. “It is a win-win situation for all of us. The MSC gives us the chance to show the world how committed to sustainability we are. The credibility of the fishing sector as a whole will benefit from this MSC certification and it will, we hope, contribute to raising awareness among Portuguese consumers that the choices they make in the marketplace have an impact upon the future of the world’s oceans.”

The sardine fishery is one of the Iberian Peninsula’s oldest, in continuous operation since at least the 14th century. Fishing takes place within the inner continental shelf off mainland Portugal. The three most important landing ports — Matosinhos, Peniche and Figueira da Foz — are all located north of Lisbon.

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