Celtic Sea herring fleet achieves MSC certification
Apr 03, 2012
The Celtic Sea herring fishery has been certified to the Marine Stewardship Council Standard as a sustainable and well-managed fishery. Following an 11 month independent assessment, fish accounting for 90% of Ireland's Celtic Sea herring catch will be certified as sustainable. Herring is one of the most popular MSC certified species with nearly a thousand MSC certified herring products sold in Germany alone. Celtic Sea herring are now eligible to bear the blue MSC ecolabel, advertising its status as being sourced from a certified sustainable fishery.
Gavin Power, Chairman of the Celtic Sea Herring Management Advisory Committee (CSHMAC) stated: "The Committee is delighted to receive MSC certification for the Celtic Sea Herring Fishery. After many years of committed work by the Committee the stock has recovered well and the fishery is now operating at a sustainable level. This situation could not have been achieved without the full support of all the stakeholders involved in the fishery. Sacrifices have been made along the way but, underpinned by sound scientific advice and support, our management approach has been well received at departmental level and has yielded tangible results. What is important now is that the award of MSC certification will deliver a renewed focus on future improvements in management and responsibility, aimed at ensuring a profitable and sustainable fishery for many years to come."
'Clean' fishery with good management
Food Certification International, the independent Certifier described the fishery as ‘clean and selective’ in their assessment. Herring school in single species groups in mid-water meaning low bycatch and minimal contact between fishing gear and the seabed. The report concluded that the establishment of the Celtic Sea Herring Management Advisory Committee (CSHMAC), a national multi stakeholder initiative, and its partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine resulted in a management approach that "led to direct improvements" in the herring stock.
Claire Pescod, UK and Ireland Fisheries Outreach Manager said: "On behalf of the MSC, I would like to congratulate the CSHMAC on their certification. It is through the hard work and commitment of all members of the CSHMAC that herring stocks have improved and that products from this fishery are now able to bear the distinctive blue MSC ecolabel. There is a huge demand for MSC certified herring, particularly in Northern Europe with 1 in 8 MSC certified products being herring based. The work the CSHMAC members have implemented on Celtic Sea herring stock management really demonstrates their commitment to sustainable fisheries management."
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