Rope-grown mussels earn MSC certification


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
June 25, 2012

Rope-grown mussels from the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group (SSMG) have been awarded Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, the SSMG announced on Tuesday. It’s the first enhanced fishery in Scotland to attain the MSC eco-label.

The certification was supported by a partnership between SSMG and Seafood Shetland, and all Shetland-produced mussels are now eligible to bear the MSC eco-label. The certification process for both Shetland and the Scottish west coast was also supported by a GBP 20,000 donation from The Cooperative Group’s Sustainable Fishing Fund.

SSMG-produced mussels are collected naturally as free-swimming larvae, which settle on lines suspended in open water. They then grow naturally by feeding on plankton carried by the tidal flows found around Shetland and the Scottish west coast, making it an enhanced fishery with no adverse environmental impact.

The fishery, which was assessed by independent certifier Food Certification International, is worth GBP 3.5 million to the Shetland economy and produced 4,567 metric tons of mussels last year, representing 65 percent of Scottish mussel production.

It’s also the first farmed seafood product to engage in the MSC pre-assessment process.

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