Swedish herring fisheries get MSC nod


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
July 2, 2013

The Swedish herring fishery in the North Sea has achieved its re-certification — the second time that this group of Swedish fishing vessels has been awarded Marine Stewardship Council certification, not under the collective group Swedish Pelagic Federation Producer Organization (SPFPO).

The fishery was the third herring fishery to be certified in 2008, with others following suit in the North Sea for a total of 14 certified herring fisheries. The SPFPO herring fishery takes place mainly during the summer months in the North Sea and comprises 20 fishing vessels.

The members of SPFPO use pelagic trawl and purse seine gear types. Deep experience and knowledge of the fishery, combined with electronic equipment, makes it possible for the crew to be able to efficiently locate the right species, density and size. Pelagic fisheries for herring do not make contact with the seabed, thus reducing any likelihood of negative impacts on the seabed habitats. The bycatch is low — with a limited amount of mackerel that end up in the nets and reduced discards. This demonstrates the effectiveness and the low impact that this fishery has on the marine environment. 

“It is important for us to be able to deliver MSC certified herring. We are actively working to get all our fishing activities certified,” said Björn Lindblad of the SPFPO. “Our fishermen want to show the industry that they are fishing responsibly and also assure consumers that the catch is from sustainable fish stocks.”

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