Northern Ireland herring fisheries enter MSC assessment
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) today announced that Northern Ireland’s leading North Sea herring fisheries have entered assessment. If successful, the number of MSC-certified fisheries in Northern Ireland will be more than doubled.
The Northern Ireland Pelagic Sustainability Group (NIPSG) Irish Sea-Atlantic mackerel, west of Scotland herring and North Sea herring fisheries represent the pelagic members of the Anglo-North Irish Fish Producers Organisation (ANIFPO) and the Northern Ireland Fish Producers Organisation (NIFPO), as well as pelagic fish processors in Northern Ireland, namely C&O Milligan, S&P Milligan and Kilkeel Kippering Company.
“We are very keen to expand our MSC certification even further within Northern Ireland fisheries,” said Alan McCulla, chief executive of the Anglo-North Irish FPO and Secretary to the NIPSG. The Irish Sea herring fishery is already MSC certified, he added.
Claire Pescod, UK & Ireland Fisheries outreach manager, said entering the three fisheries into MSC assessment furthers NIPSG’s commitment to ensuring sustainable pelagic fisheries while meeting the market demand for independently verified sustainable seafood.
Mackerel and herring are caught using three pelagic trawler vessels, which provide fresh and frozen product into UK and EU markets. Precise technology ensures the fishery has little or no bycatch, thanks to the use of sonar, net and catch monitors. Fishery also has no contact with the seabed.
The certification of these three NIPSG fisheries is expected to take between 12-20 months and will be conducted by independent certifier, Food Certification International (FCI).