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MSC in The Netherlands

Certified fisheries

The first Dutch fishery to achieve MSC certification was the PFA North Sea herring fishery, which was certified in May 2006. Since then, more Dutch fisheries have been certified:

Fisheries in assessment

The following fisheries are working to achieve certification in the future:

Supply chain

The Netherlands is 8th largest exporter of fish and fish products in the world, and provides an essential processing and logistics centre for fish in Europe. In response to demand for MSC certified seafood from domestic and international markets, over200 of the 400-plus exporters and processors in the Netherlands have obtained MSC Chain of Custody certification to assure traceability of MSC product. Use our Find a Supplier search to find a company that offers the product you want.

Retail and brands

Dutch retailers have made rapid progress in recent years. In December 2011 the Dutch retailers association (CBL) reconfirmed its ambition of 2007 that by the end of 2015 all wild caught private label fresh and frozen seafood sold by its members would be MSC-certified. This was an unprecedented commitment for an organisation that represents 99% of the Dutch supermarket sector. Individual retailers like Albert Heijn, Super de Boer, C1000, Plus, Jumbo, DEEN, Dekamarkt, Dirk van den Broek and many others, are actively seeking sustainable MSC certified products.

Foodservice and restaurants

The foodservice sector in the Netherlands sells an  increasing volume of seafood. Several larger suppliers of this sector like Sligro, Metro Cash&Carry, Seafood Parlevliet, Fishmasters and DeliXL have obtained MSC Chain of Custody certification and have launched products bearing the MSC ecolabel.

In September 2008, Royal KLM became World’s first airline to serve MSC certified seafood. After successful completion of a pilot project in the Amsterdam Outbound World Business Class flights, KLM has now introduced a sustainable seafood sourcing policy. This includes serving MSC certified seafood in in at least 50% of their menus on intercontinental flights from Amsterdam in business and economy class.

In April 2009, Sodexo became the first Dutch contract caterer that successfully received the MSC certificate for Chain of Custody. The first party caterer Verhaaf/Jaarbeurs Catering Services receivedMSC Chain of Custody certification in August 2010.

In July 2011 McDonald's spread out to the Netherlands with their certificate. Hilton in the Netherlands also attained a MSC chain of custody certification in April 2012.

Increasingly more restaurants obtain a MSC certificate, including four restaurants with Michelin stars namely; Niven, Ciel Blue, Yamazato, and Restaurant the Hermitage.

MSC in the Netherlands introduced 3 group managers. These group managers support the restaurants and fishmongers in their certification process. The group managers ensure that the restaurants and fishmongers work according to the MSC standard for traceability. Once the restaurants or fishmongers meet all of the requirements to acquire a MSC certificate, they are added to the group certificate of the group managers.

Over 50 independent restaurants are now certified and interest in sourcing sustainable fish is growing. The restaurant guides 'Dinnersite'  and 'Iens' (Dutch only) provides an overview of restaurants in the Netherlands offering MSC certified seafood.


Increased awareness and concerns for sustainability and environmental issues is influencing consumers and their everyday purchases: Research on consumer expenditure on sustainable food in the Netherlands shows that in 2011 Dutch consumers spent 130.5 million euros on MSC labelled food which represents an increase of 17.3 % compared to 2010.

Research on attitudes and behaviour towards ecolabels, sustainable seafood and MSC shows that 44% of fish consumers in the Netherlands are aware of the MSC ecolabel. Among Dutch consumers, ecolabels rank as the most trusted sources of information about sustainability - with friends and family recommendations coming second, an indication of how much more sustainability issues are part of everyday conversation

Find out how your company can get involved in the MSC program.

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