Anglo-German cod, haddock and saithe fisheries win MSC certificates
Jun 01, 2012
The North East Arctic cod, haddock and saithe fisheries fished by UK Fisheries Ltd and the German companies, DFFU and Doggerbank have been MSC certified as well-managed and sustainable fisheries. Subject to Chain of Custody traceability, products from these fisheries are now eligible to bear the MSC ecolabel. The certification will have a particular effect in the UK, where the majority of the fisheries’ cod is sold each year.
Boosting consumer confidence in cod stocks
Nigel Atkins, Chairman of the UK Fisheries Group said: “We warmly welcome the certification of these fisheries. The certification of the cod fishery will be particularly important in helping to rebuild consumer confidence in the sustainability of cod stocks.”
The fish are caught using demersal otter trawls and supply mostly frozen-at-sea whole-fish or frozen fillets to their markets. They also capable of supplying fresh fish subject to market demand.
Benthic impacts carefully monitored
The fisheries attracted only one condition of certification – on the environmental impacts of the fishery. However, in its report, the certifier noted a new Norwegian regulation  for the protection of vulnerable benthic habitats in Norwegian waters. This “…provides for some of the strictest protection of benthic habitats from trawl impacts anywhere in the world. The regulation requires that any evidence of impacts on corals or sponges (i.e. presence in the trawl) be reported, with a move-on rule of 2 nautical miles if there is evidence of an ‘encounter’…”
Claire Pescod, MSC UK Fisheries Outreach Manager says: “This is a great achievement by an international fishery and I am delighted to congratulate all three companies on behalf of the MSC. This certification will complement the UK Fisheries, DFFU and Doggerbank saithe fishery, certified just over a year ago. There’s a huge amount of interest in certified sustainable cod and haddock in the UK and I’m sure that demand for the newly MSC certified whitefish will be high.”
 Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, Regulations adopted 1 July 2011, under sections 16, 36 and 47 of the Act of 6 June 2008 No. 37 relating to the management of wild living marine resources (Marine Resources Act). Regulations relating to bottom fishing activities in the Economic Zone of Norway, the fisheries zone around Jan Mayen and the Fisheries Protection Zone around Svalbard, 2pp.