B.C. Dogfish Fishery Applies for MSC Certification
The British Columbia Dogfish Hook & Line Industry Association has applied to the Marine Stewardship Council to undertake a full assessment of its fishery. The MSC is a globally recognized eco-labeling system that certifies that seafood comes from well-managed fisheries.
"We are pleased to enter the MSC process at this time, as we believe the B.C. dogfish fishery has become one of the most closely monitored groundfish fisheries in the world, in contrast to many other dogfish fisheries. Parallel to the MSC assessment, a west coast Canada and U.S. dogfish stock assessment will take place. We are confident that this stock assessment and the MSC process will demonstrate and further strengthen the sustainability of this dogfish stock and ensure a successful future for our fishery. Certification to the MSC standard is especially important as we meet market demands for sustainable dogfish products, particularly in European markets," said Michael Renwick, executive director of the Association.
The MSC assessment is being undertaken in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the B.C. Ministry of Environment and is expected to take 12 to 18 months. A parallel project is currently underway to update the U.S. and Canadian stock assessment model of the Pacific West Coast stock.
"This announcement demonstrates British Columbia's continuing commitment to ensuring sustainability throughout the fishing sector. We appreciate the interest in sustainable fishing that the Dogfish Hook and Line Industry Association is showing by engaging in the MSC assessment process," said Brad Ack, regional director for the MSC's Americas program.
Five other B.C. fisheries are undergoing assessment against the MSC standard: chum, pink and sockeye salmon, Canadian Pacific halibut and Pacific hake.
Over the past few years, the dogfish hook and line fleet has typically been 30 or fewer vessels. During the fishing year of April 1, 2007, to March 31, 2008, 3,037 metric tons of dogfish were landed by the fleet, principally caught by longline.