US squid fishery looks to tackle a world first
The Northeast United States longfin inshore squid fishery is on its way to becoming the first of its kind in the world to undergo a successful Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification assessment, Lund’s Fisheries and The Town Dock announced on 7 July.
Lund’s, based out of of Cape May, New Jersey, and The Town Dock, based out of Point Judith, Rhode Island, have requested the assessment, which is being conducted by independent auditor SCS Global Services. Following a positive pre-assessment completed in January, the requesting companies decided to go ahead with submitting the longfin squid fishery, which dates back to the late 19th century, for MSC certification.
“Throughout our 37 years of business, our goal has always been to provide customers with a healthy and sustainable seafood product,” said Katie Almeida, fishery policy analyst at The Town Dock, which is the largest supplier of longfin squid in the United States. “By certifying longfin squid, we hope to take that promise of sustainability a step further, and to provide our customers with squid for many years to come.”
“For over 60 years, we have constantly strived to improve the quality and sustainability of our products to meet the high standards of our customers,” added Jeff Kaelin, government relations coordinator at Lund’s Fisheries. “Our effort to certify longfin and Illex squid as sustainable is another example of our commitment to producing the best, most responsibly sourced seafood possible for our customers.”
Longfin squid is both a popular bait choice for many high-profile fisheries, and often the star of many calamari and salad dishes. Concentrated in the Northeast United States, the longfin squid fishery has an abundance of catch in the waters between Massachusetts’ Georges Bank, and Cape Hatteras, off the coast of North Carolina.
“The fishery is largely comprised of small-mesh bottom trawl boats, with mid-water trawls and pound nets comprising a much smaller portion of the catch,” according to Lund’s – the only company that participates in all three U.S. squid fisheries on the east and west coasts.
The assessment is expected to take 14 months, and is open to fishery stakeholders.