Scottish saithe fishery MSC certified
The Scottish Fisheries Sustainable Accreditation Group (SFSAC) saithe fishery has been certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. The certification is the second for the group, which also represents the SFSAG haddock fishery that obtained MSC certification in 2010.
Fishing with bottom trawls, pair trawls and Scottish seines, the fishery includes around 230 Scottish vessels with an annual catch of around 10,000 metric tons (MT). As part of the certification the fishery has committed to 10 further actions to improve environmental performances from current sustainable levels, to global best practice. One of these actions will help to protect a recently-discovered bed of cold water corals by ensuring that the fishing vessels continue to avoid the East Mingulay Reefs area, currently proposed as a Scottish Conservation Area.
In the final report, the certifiers also praised the approach taken by the Scottish government in developing a marine planning system in an open, transparent and consultative way as the best way of resolving potentially controversial decisions.
“Whilst the Scottish fleet continues to work hard on its environmental credentials and to demonstrate a firm commitment to sustainability, we don’t always get the acknowledgement we deserve. MSC allows us to obtain recognition in a way the consumer can grasp; they know their choice is sustainable because of the MSC logo,” said Mike Park SFSAG chair.
“We operate in a global market that demands a sustainable certified product, and we must continue to be competitive and to ensure that we maintain our market share, whilst keeping the most important person in the supply chain happy. The consumer.”
“This certification demonstrates the increasingly holistic approach that the Scottish whitefish fleet is taking towards mixed-species, multi-gear fisheries. It also underlines the commitment the Scottish industry has towards long-term ecosystem-based management and the leading position they are taking in ensuring best practice around the world,” said Toby Middleton, MSC senior country manager.