North Atlantic swordfish fishery MSC certified
Day Boat Seafood, based in Lake Park, Fla., has received Marine Stewardship Council certification for the U.S. North Atlantic swordfish pelagic longline and handgear buoy line fishery.
All U.S. licensed fisherman using longline and buoy gear in the area are eligible to share in the certification, subject to signing a sharing agreement with the client group.
In December 2011, Day Boat Seafood was awarded MSC certification for the Southeast U.S. North Atlantic swordfish and that unit of certification will now be included in this certification.
The fishery operates year round with some seasonal variation in an area off the Florida east coast. It is managed by the U.S. Federal Government under the Magnuson-Stevens Act and in conformance with International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) management requirements. In addition, other U.S. federal laws and regulations under the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) apply to the fishery, including on endangered species.
The 2010 U.S. harvest was about 2,700 metric tons, which is below the total allowable catch. Over the last decade, harvest levels allowed by ICCAT have remained below the allowable quota and that has enabled the stock to rebuild; in 2009, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declared the stock rebuilt.“Our fishermen have proven over the past year that the rigorous conditions addressing the issues raised by stakeholders, peer review scientists and the certification team during our certification process have been foremost in our fishing operations,” said Debbie Lewis, Day Boat director of compliance and sustainability. “This certification provides all pelagic longline and hand-gear fishermen of the North Atlantic the opportunity to join our commitment to the MSC process and our mission to provide sustainable products that will assure the preservation of this fishery for future generations.”