Patagonian scallop fishery earns MSC re-certification
Apr 05, 2012
(Seattle, WA) — The Patagonian scallop (Zygochlamys patagonica) fishery, within the Argentine Economic Exclusive Zone, has been re-certified following independent assessment to the MSC standard for sustainable, well-managed fisheries. This fishery was first certified as sustainable in 2006, and products from the fishery are now eligible to continue using the blue MSC ecolabel.
About the Patagonian scallop fishery
Fishing takes place on the Argentine Continental Shelf in waters approximately 60-120 meters deep, between the northern boundary with Uruguay and Tierra del Fuego in the south. The fishing method is benthic otter trawl net.
There are two client companies, Glaciar Pesquera S.A. and Wanchese Argentina S.A, both operating two factory vessels. There are no other eligible fishers as the Argentine management authority in1996 issued only four fishing permits in order to avoid overfishing, following the scientific advice of I.N.I.D.E.P. (Argentine Fishery Research Institute). The fishery landed between 45,000 and 58,000 metric tons of whole scallops per year in its first five-year certification period.
Processing, packing and storage of the harvested scallops is done onboard. Scallops are first steamed to open the shell, muscles are then separated from the visceral parts, individually frozen (IQF), packaged in cartons according to size-range and type selections, and stored in a refrigerator at 18° C. Products are mainly sold in the United States, France and Canada.
What MSC says
"The Patagonian scallop fishery was the first Argentine fishery and the first scallop fishery in the world to achieve MSC certification," said Kerry Coughlin, regional director for MSC Americas. "We're pleased they sought and successfully completed re-certification. Latin American fisheries are a significant part of the global marketplace and the example of the scallop fishery in Argentina demonstrates the importance of MSC sustainability certification in the market."
About the certifier
Organización Internacional Agropecuaria (OIA) was the certifier for this assessment. During the assessment, the three principles of the MSC standard were evaluated in detail: the status of the fish stock, the impact of the fishery on the marine ecosystem and the management system overseeing the fishery. See the fishery page for more information about the Patagonian scallop fishery and the complete Public Certification Report detailing the fishery’s passing scores against the MSC standard.