Danish blue shell mussel fishery obtains MSC certification
Feb 09, 2012
The Danish Isefjord and East Jutland blue shell mussel fishery has been certified as a sustainable and well-managed fishery against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) environmental standard. This is the eighth fishery in Denmark to obtain MSC certification and products from the fishery will be eligible to carry the internationally recognized, blue MSC ecolabel. Becoming MSC certified means that the fishery now provides an additional 5,000 tonnes of MSC certified fish to consumers, adding to the already impressive Danish quantity of more than 100,000 tonnes sustainably caught seafood yearly.
What MSC certification means
The MSC certification means that the fishery’s impacts and management have been assessed, by an independent expert scientific team, as having met the MSC environmental standard for sustainable fisheries. The fishery had to be able to demonstrate healthy mussel stocks, minimal ecosystem impacts, and an effective fisheries management system. The fishery is now seeking certification to the MSC Chain of Custody standard for traceability. Once it has secured its Chain of Custody certificate, mussels from this fishery will also be eligible to bear the blue MSC ecolabel, helping consumers make sustainable choices when shopping.
Blue mussel fishery minimizes ecosystem impacts
The newly MSC certified fishery encompasses four vessels, using dredges to harvest blue shell mussels (Mytilus edulis). It operates in the Isefjord and on the East Jutland Coast in southern Kattegat and the Belt Sea all year but most intensively during the period mid-July to January.
To obtain MSC certification, the fishery had to provide evidence that it had limited impacts on the ecosystem and that the harvesting of the stock was made in a sustainable manner. During the five year duration of the certificate, the fishery will pursue its efforts to deliver environmental benefits, including a commitment to implement an action plan focused on the continued monitoring and documenting of the stock status and of the impacts on the seabed.
Wittrup Seafood Company says
Mr Stig Wittrup, Wittrup Seafood Company says “We are proud that our mussels can be sold with the sustainable label MSC.”
Growing consumer demand for sustainably produced seafood
“MSC congratulates the Danish Isefjord and East Jutland blue shell fishery on becoming MSC certified,” says Minna Epps, Manager for the MSC in the Baltic Sea Region. “Wittrup Seafood's MSC certification will give them an edge in the market and help to meet the growing demand for sustainably produced seafood by European consumers.”
The products from the approximately 5,000 tons fished yearly by the Isefjord and East Jutland are sold fresh and processed (canned) both domestically and to different markets within mainland Europe.
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