Press release

Dutch, German and Danish shrimp fleets come together to seek MSC certification

January 28, 2016

Today, three fishing organisations from Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany have come together to seek Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for their brown shrimp operations. If successful, they will together produce almost 30 million Kg of certified sustainable shrimp annually.

A sustainable partnership

The Cooperative Fisheries Organisation (CVO) of the Netherlands, the MSC GbR of Germany and the Danish Fishermen - Producers Organisation (DFPO) decided a year ago to come together as one to enter the MSC program. Fish from these organsiations are landed in many ports along the entire Danish, German and Dutch coast (from Breskens to Esbjerg).

The MSC Fisheries Standard is the world’s most credible and recognised standard for environmentally sustainable wild-caught seafood.

Hans Nieuwenhuis, the MSC’s Program Director in the Benelux says: “MSC welcomes this step for the shrimp fishermen. It sends an important signal to the supply chain and fish consumers, that the supply sector is taking responsibility. The fishery will be independently assessed on its stock status, its management, and its ecosystem effects and scored against the latest requirements of the MSC Fisheries standard, which have been in force since April 2015. This is the world's most authoritative and up-to-date standard for sustainable fisheries."

Safeguarding shrimp stocks for the future

Almost all (80%) of all European shrimpers are in assessment in the MSC program. Together, they account for more than 95% of annual landings of North Sea brown shrimp. If successful, shrimp from this fishery will be able to carry the blue MSC ecolabel which indicates that it comes from a sustainable, well-managed source. Achieving MSC certification brings global recognition to a fishery’s efforts, and will also help safeguard seafood supplies for the future.

Johan Nooitgedagt, chairman of the Fisheries Cooperative Organizations (CVO ) knows how important sustainable fishing means to Dutch, German and Danish shrimp fishermen. "We’ve been looking forward to this day. We are pleased that finally we can enter the MSC’s assessment. Should we be successful, we will be able to sell sustainable shrimp certified by the MSC.” 

Third party evaluation

Independent certification body, Acoura, will carry out this assessment. Stakeholders are encouraged to provide input throughout the process. For the next 12-18 months, a team of fishery science and policy experts will evaluate the fishery according to the three principles of the MSC Standard: the health of the stock; the impact of fishing on the marine environment; and the management of the fishery. To comment on the assessment of this fishery, please contact: fisheries@acoura.com.

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