Vietnam’s Ben Tre hand-gathered clam fishery has once again earned recertification by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
The fishery Located 65 kilometers off the coastline, is composed of 11 cooperatives that harvest the clams by hand, with the aid of a rake. A total of 1,925 tonnes of clams were landed by the cooperative in 2015, according to MSC.
“The Ben Tre clam fishery was the first small scale fishery in Southeast Asia to achieve MSC certification in 2009. We are thrilled to see the co-operatives achieve recertification and continue creating positive impacts on the Ben Tre Province ecosystems and gain recognition in domestic and international markets.” MSC Asia Pacific Regional Director Patrick Caleo said. “The recertification of the Ben Tre fishery provides independent assurance that this fishery remains amongst the best managed and most sustainable fisheries in the world.”
ME Certification Limited completed the evaluation, agreeing it met MSC Fisheries Standards for health of the stock, a sustainable impact of fishing on the marine environment and responsible management of the fishery.
According to MSC, the Ben Tre Province of Vietnam is an important area of biodiversity as well as home to the economically vital clam fishery. The Ben Tre cooperative has agreed to leave certain areas of the fishery fallow, allowing for ongoing stock replenishment. In addition, the selective, low-impact fishing method of hand-raking “ensures minimal disturbance to sand flat communities where the clams can be found and ensures no bycatch of any other species.”