Northeast companies seek MSC certification for squid

Two companies based in the Northeast U.S. have jointly entered the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification process for the Atlantic loligo (longfin) squid fishery. 

Lund’s Fisheries, in Cape May, New Jersey, U.S.A., and the Town Dock in Point Judith, Rhode Island, U.S.A., have begun the multi-step certification process needed for the East Coast loligo. If successful, they would be the first squid fishery to receive MSC certification. 

Both companies said they hope the certification will showcase the fishery’s commitment to sustainability. 

“We know squid fits that mode, now it’s just going through the proper channels to prove it, and there’s no better way to do it than go through that MSC process,” said Patrick Maness, director of marketing for the Town Dock. 

The Town Dock is currently the largest supplier of calamari in the United States, running a dedicated fleet of six boats and purchasing from 20 independently owned large boats in the area around Point Judith. In 2016, Rhode Island represented the largest harvester of loligo, landing 10,329 metric tons according to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. 

“When you procure more squid than anyone else, it makes sense that you would be the one to lead the charge,” Maness said. 

A driving factor behind seeking MSC certification, he said, is current market pressure. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of where their seafood is coming from, and want to know that the products they buy were harvested in a sustainable way. 

“The market is demanding to know that the food that they’re consuming is from a sustainable resource,” Maness said. 

Currently, but Lund’s and Town Dock are in the peer review stage of the assessment. 

“It can take anywhere from eight to 18 months, depending on the scope of assessment,” said Maggie Dewane, MSC’s U.S. communications manager, to National Fisherman. “Because of the pre-assessment process, which highlights any weaknesses within the fishery, which can then be addressed prior to entering assessment, most fisheries are able to achieve certification.”

Maness said he confident that the fishery will achieve MSC certification.

“There’s no better company to do that than the Town Dock," he said. "We are squid.”


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