Swordfish fishery nets MSC certification
The harpoon portion of Eastern Canada’s swordfish fishery on Friday earned Marine Stewardship Council certification for sustainable and well-managed fisheries.
It’s the world’s first swordfish fishery to receive the distinction.
The Swordfish Harpoon Association and the SHQ Swordfish Quota Society represent harpoon-only licensed harvesters in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and New Brunswick. The Nova Scotia Swordfishermen’s Association represents individual transferable quota (ITQ) holders that can harvest swordfish with longlines and harpoons, and only swordfish landed in dedicated harpoon trips was certified.
The swordfish harpoon fleet in Canada receives 10 percent of the annual quota, averaging approximately 130 metric tons. In addition, over the past few years, the individual transferable quota fleet has averaged 125 metric tons of fish from its longline quota that was caught using harpoons.
More than 90 percent of the swordfish landed in the fishery is exported to U.S. markets.
“Through careful management and attention to sustainability, both domestically and internationally, the North Atlantic swordfish stock has been fully rebuilt over the last 10 years, and with continued sustainable fishing practices will provide fishing opportunities for generations to come,” said Troy Atkinson, spokesperson for the Nova Scotia Swordfishermen’s Association.
“MSC certification underscores the commitment made by our industry to fish in a responsible and sustainable manner,” he added.All Environment & Sustainability stories >