Pacific scallop fishery seeks MSC certification

By

SeafoodSource staff

Published on
May 5, 2009

New Zealand's southern scallop fishery on Wednesday announced it is seeking Marine Stewardship Council sustainability certification.

The southern, or "challenger," scallop fishery is co-managed by the Challenger Scallop Enhancement Co. and the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries. Much of the harvest's catch is exported to France.

The seasonal fishery enforces an enhancement program in which spat are collected for reseeding following the fishery's closure in 1980 and 1981. The program has been key in rebuilding the stock.

"I'm really pleased to see this unique New Zealand scallop fishery enter assessment," said Patrick Caleo, MSC manager for Australia and New Zealand. "Challeneger scallops are the first Pacific scallop to enter assessment and I am sure the growing European markets for MSC-labeled products will follow their assessment with interest."

News of New Zealand's southern scallop fishery comes as three Norwegian fisheries were awarded MSC certification.

Collectively, the Norway spring-spawning herring and the Norway North Sea and Skagerrak herring fisheries produce more then 1 million metric tons of herring annually. The North East mackerel pelagic trawl, purse-seine and handline fishery yields 131,065 metric tons of mackerel annually.

"Congratulations to Norges Sildesalgslag and their fisheries on this historic triple certification. By demonstrating their sustainability through MSC certification, these fisheries are giving their customers assurance that their fish are caught from fisheries that meet the highest standards for sustainability," said MSC CEO Rupert Howes.  "The potential volume of certified fish soon to be available in the market place - over 1 million tons - as a result of this triple certification will make a real difference to the choices available to consumers who preference certified sustainable seafood."

More than 140 fisheries worldwide are engaged in the MSC program – 46 are certified, 99 are under assessment and 20 to 30 are in confidential pre-assessment. Collectively, the fisheries represent more than 5 million metric tons of seafood.

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