Second plaice fishery nets MSC eco-label


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
September 22, 2010

The Osprey Group’s North Sea twin-rigged otter-trawl plaice fishery on Thursday became the second North Sea plaice fishery and 94th fishery worldwide to earn Marine Stewardship Council certification.

The four-vessel fishery harvests approximately 2,000 metric tons annually, or 3 percent of the European Union’s North Sea plaice quota. The fish are landed in Urk and Insula in the Netherlands and sold as whole, filleted and breaded product throughout the EU. The Osprey Group’s fishing season runs from 1 April to 15 November, opposite of plaice’s spawning season.

According to the Osprey Group, the use of twin-otter trawls to catch plaice is a relatively new method. The innovation has allowed fishermen to reduce fuel consumption and improve the quality of the fish. The nets are designed to reduce bycatch and the impact on the sea floor. To protect the sea bed, Osprey Group closed a number of fishing areas in conjunction with the Ekofish Group.

The Ekofish Group’s North Sea twin-rigged otter-trawl plaice fishery was the first North Sea plaice fishery to obtain MSC certification in June 2009.

“The supply of certified sustainably caught plaice has grown significantly, which will be visible in the marketplace,” said Nathalie Steins, Benelux Country manager for the MSC.

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