Ocean Choice, SFP launch Canadian redfish and ocean perch fisheries
Two new fishery improvement projects have been launched for the Canadian redfish, or ocean perch, and greysole fisheries.
The effort is being led by the Groundfish Enterprise Allocation Council, with support from the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) and Ocean Choice International, a St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada-based vertically integrated seafood company, which owns a large percentage of the quota in the fisheries.
The first FIP is for Canada’s Unit 1 and Unit 2 redfish fisheries, located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Laurentian Channel, primarily between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. The offshore component of these fisheries currently has a total allowable catch of more than 8,000 metric tons, of which OCI holds the largest single share of quota at approximately 40 percent.
The second FIP is the grey sole, or witch flounder, fishery in NAFO areas 2J3KL, 3NO and 3Ps, of which Ocean Choice has rights to 85 percent of the total allowable catch of almost 1,800 metric tons.
“Redfish/ocean perch and greysole were once robust fisheries on Canada’s Atlantic Coast and have strong appeal in markets around the world,” OCI COO Blaine Sullivan said. “As they continue to recover and grow we are committed to a leadership role in ensuring that they are managed sustainably for the future of all stakeholders, including our customers.”
The aim of both FIP is to achieve Marine Stewardship Council certification for the fisheries, Ocean Choice CEO Martin Sullivan said.
“OCI has been very committed to achieving MSC certification for all of our fisheries,” Sullivan said. “With over 90 percent of our current resource base [currently] MSC-certified, these FIPs will prepare our key remaining fisheries for the MSC-certification process, putting us near the finish line of 100 percent MSC-certified fisheries.”