Innovative techniques earn U.S. swordfish fishery an MSC nod
Product hailing from the Sustainable Swordfish LLC (SSLLC) U.S. North Atlantic swordfish longline fishery has earned the right to bear the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) blue ecolabel after an independent assessment conducted by Intertek Fisheries Certification (IFC) went off without a hitch.
Operating alongside the U.S. east coast from Maine to the Atlantic tip of Florida, the SSLLC U.S. North Atlantic swordfish longline fishery is open year-round. Most of the catch from the fishery is ascertained using pelagic longline gear with hooks and is sold fresh to restaurants and other retail markets throughout the U.S. The utilization of circle hooks and other innovative fishing tools and techniques played a big part in granting the fishery its bid for MSC certification.
“We are pleased to attain MSC certification as a sustainable and well-managed fishery,” said Bill Struzziery, Resource Manager of North Coast Seafoods Corp. and President of Sustainable Swordfish LLC. “By demonstrating sustainable principles, including spearheading international harvest restrictions and advancing the use of circle hooks and other innovative gear tools and techniques, the SSLLC US North Atlantic swordfish fishery is helping to lead the way in contributing to sustainable seafood for future generations. We welcome MSC certification as validation of the hard work taken by the fishery to continue operating in a responsible and sustainable manner and consumers can now be assured that this fishery is recognized as sustainable and well-managed against the MSC standard.”
Indeed, much of the sustainability work that the SSLLC U.S. North Atlantic swordfish longline fishery is doing will contribute to the safeguarding of the Atlantic swordfish species for years to come, according to MSC representatives.
“We congratulate the SSLLC U.S. North Atlantic swordfish fishery on the achievement of attaining certification to the global MSC standard,” said Geoff Bolan, MSC’s U.S. Program Director. “The commitment and demonstrated sustainability of this fishery will help to safeguard seafood supplies and contribute to healthy oceans for the future.”
Due to Atlantic swordfish being highly migratory in disposition, multiple regulatory bodies manage the species including the International Commission for the Conservation of the Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), which conducts stock assessments and sets total allowable catches for swordfish; and the Highly Migratory Species Management Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which establishes regulations for U.S. vessels.