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Vietnam's Ben Tre hand gathered clam fishery proves it’s sustainable, again

September 19, 2016

Demonstrating continuous commitment to sustainable fishing, the Ben Tre hand gathered clam fishery has been re-certified to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Fishery Standard as being sustainable and well managed. This means that clams from this fishery can continue to carry the blue MSC label. The fishery was first certified in 2009,

The clams are collected by hand, with the aid of a rake. This selective, low-impact fishing method ensures minimal disturbance to sand flat communities where the clams can be found and ensures no bycatch of any other species.

“The Ben Tre clam fishery was the first small scale fishery in Southeast Asia to achieve MSC certification in 2009. We are thrilled to see the co-operatives achieve recertification and continue creating positive impacts on the Ben Tre Province ecosystems and gain recognition in domestic and international markets.” said Patrick Caleo, Regional Director, MSC Asia Pacific.

Located 65 kilometres off the coastline, the Ben Tre Province is an important area of biodiversity as well as home to the economically vital clam fishery. A total of 1,925 tonnes of clams were landed in 2015 fished across 11 co-operatives in the Province.

A team of experts from ME Certification Limited (MEC)  evaluated the fishery against the three principles of the MSC Fisheries Standard: the health of the stock; the impact of fishing on the marine environment; and the management of the fishery, and concluded that the fishery remains sustainable.

Mr Caleo adds that: “The recertification of the Ben Tre Hand Gathered Clam fishery provides independent assurance that this fishery remains amongst the best managed and most sustainable fisheries in the world.”

The 11 co-operatives that harvest the clams are actively involved in the management of this fishery and have continued to help protect the species through the implementation of unfished areas, allowing for ongoing stock replenishment.

Find out more about the Ben Tre story: Saving a clam fishery in Vietnam 

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