Seafreeze Limited, Sea Fresh USA nab MSC certification for loligo, illex squid

Published on
June 30, 2020

Seafreeze Limited and Sea Fresh USA, both based in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, U.S.A., have achieved Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for their loligo and illex squid fisheries.

The certification was granted by SCS Global Services for the company’s catches of loligo or longfin squid (Doryteuthis (Amerigo) pealeii) and Northern shortfin squid (Illex illecebrosus), following a 10-month assessment. The certification is good through 2025, subject to annual audits to ensure the MSC standard continues to be met.

“MSC certification of longfin and illex squid from the Northwest Atlantic is something that customers here in the U.S. and overseas have been eager to see in our New England fishery for some time,” Sea Fresh USA Director Chris Lee said in a press release. “We are excited to be able to offer MSC-certified squid of both species to existing and future customers. Adding the MSC certification confirms, for customers near and far, that they are purchasing from a sustainably harvested resource. As demands on the world’s natural resources intensify, it is important for our customer base to understand what we already knew, that these fisheries are sustainable, well-managed U.S. fisheries.”

Illex squid products have historically been sold as bait for other fisheries such as crab, cod, and swordfish, though in recently, illex has been produced for foodservice uses and distributed around the U.S., Europe, and Asia, according to MSC. Longfin squid is primarily used in the domestic foodservice market for calamari products.

“Earning MSC certification for our Atlantic squid harvests is an important milestone for Seafreeze,” Seafreeze Limited General Manager Chris Joy said. “We have always been committed to providing the highest-quality, most responsibly-harvested squid available to our customers. This certification is a result of that focus on quality and will be a great benefit for our customers worldwide. The certification of our U.S. Atlantic squid, along with the global reach in squid of our parent company, Profand, and U.S. partner Stavis Seafoods, allows us to offer our customers one of the industry’s most diverse squid inventories. Our goal is to be the industry leader in the species, and the MSC certification is a great step in that direction.”

This certification is the third of a U.S. squid fishery. In 2018, the Northeastern longfin inshore squid fishery, fished by Lund’s Fisheries, in Cape May, New Jersey, U.S.A. and The Town Dock, in Point Judith, Rhode Island, U.S.A., became the first squid fishery in the world to achieve MSC certification. Last year, the same two companies also received certification for their U.S. Northeast Northern shortfin squid (Illex illecebrosus) fishery.

“The U.S. being a leader in certified sustainable squid is a testament to the hard work by the fishermen and shows important leadership by the companies,” MSC Regional Director for the Americas Brian Perkins said. “Congratulations to Seafreeze Limited and Sea Fresh on achieving MSC certification and demonstrating their commitment to sustainability, helping ensure squid are available and the ecosystem is healthy for generations to come. With more certified sustainable squid products easily available around the world, customers can feel good about the squid they’re sourcing and selling.”

Photo courtesy of Sea Fresh USA

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