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Faroe Island, Queen Scallop fishery achieves Marine Stewardship Council certification

The Faroe Islands Queen Scallop Fishery has been certified to the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) international standard for sustainable fishing.

The fishery was independently certified by a third-party auditor which assessed the fishery against MSC’s rigorous criteria related to stock health, protection of the environment, and ensuring effective management is in place. 

The fishery is unique in that it is entirely operated by one company, O.C. Joensen, which has harvested scallop with one vessel for decades. The assessment was administered by the newly created  Faroe Islands Sustainable Fisheries (FISF) group, working with local government, the Faroese research institute, and their consultant.

Products containing scallop harvested since 1 September 2021 are now eligible to be sold with the blue MSC label. The main markets for the OCJ Queen Scallop are in USA, France, and UK.

Gisli Gislason, Program Director North Atlantic says: “This fishery has demonstrated it complies with the rigorous MSC Fisheries Standard and offers another excellent product to the market.  OCJ has been adamant in driving this progress to meet market expectations.  We congratulate, welcome, and applaud OCJ and FISF for this achievement.”

Durita í Grótinum, Manager at Faroe Island Sustainable Fisheries says: “The certification of the Fishery for Queen Scallops in Faroese waters is yet another important milestone for the Faroese fishing community. We are on a journey of gaining recognition for our constant efforts to manage our seafood resources sustainably. Last year we achieved certifications of the fisheries for Cod and Haddock in Faroese waters, whereby all the major demersal fisheries have gained MSC certification. The process of certifying the Fishery for Queen Scallops has been a time-consuming process, but we are very satisfied that our efforts have finally been rewarded. The Faroese Marine Research Institute has played an instrumental role in this process by providing all the necessary data and research to support the certification of the fishery by international scientists”.

Hans Andrias Kelduberg, Chairman of the OCJ scallops says: “At OCJ we are very pleased with the acknowledgement, that our Queen Scallops fishery is sustainably managed, by receiving a certificate of sustainability according to the MSC Standard. We have operated this fishery for several decades limiting the fishing effort to one vessel for a short fishing season to sustain the biomass of queen scallops and the surrounding eco system. The MSC certificate documenting our fishery as sustainable is very important for our customers, whereby they also can rely on the international organization of experts having evaluated our fishery.”