Press release

Norwegian cod and haddock fisheries obtain MSC-certification

November 10, 2014

Norway’s offshore Northeast Arctic (NEA) cod and haddock fisheries were today certified as sustainable under the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) environmental standard for sustainable and well managed fisheries. After successfully completing its assessment, MSC-certification for these fisheries was awarded at the European Seafood Expo in Brussels.

About the fisheries

Around 125,000 metric tonnes of Norwegian cod and 90,000 metric tonnes of Norwegian haddock will now be eligible to display the blue MSC ecolabel. In addition to its domestic sales, the fish has a global market with fresh and frozen fish being sold in Germany, France and the UK, with saltfish, clipfish and stockfish on sale in southern Europe and Latin America.

The fisheries comprise a wide variety of boats from large trawlers to smaller vessels using a mixture of fishing gear including trawls, longlines, Danish seines, handlines and gill nets to catch cod and haddock. The fisheries operate inside the Norwegian Exclusive Economic Zone, twelve nautical miles off the Norwegian coast. The inshore NEA cod and haddock fisheries are currently undergoing assessment for MSC certification.

What the Norwegian Seafood Export Council says

Karin Olsen, Marketing Manager, whitefish, Norwegian Seafood Export Council (NSEC) says: “Norway has a tradition for managing its fisheries in harmony with nature, and is internationally regarded as one of the world’s leaders in sustainable fisheries management. This is a story that we are proud to tell and the MSC-certification of Norwegian cod and haddock will strengthen this message. Third party verification on the message of sustainable seafood from Norway is a great way to ensure even more credibility in the market place for Norwegian suppliers”.

What the MSC says

Rupert Howes, Chief Executive of the Marine Stewardship Council says: “The certification of these iconic fisheries has already sparked a great deal of interest and I am sure that the large volumes of certified cod and haddock they represent will have a dramatic impact on the markets they are sold in. These fisheries are hugely important, both culturally and economically and I would like to congratulate the Norwegian Seafood Export Council on behalf of the Norwegian seafood industry for this latest success.  The NSEC has shown great foresight and I look forward to the conclusion of their inshore NEA cod and haddock assessments.”

Camiel Derichs, Manager Northern Europe says:” The reasons for this success are many; one is that Norwegian fisheries management is simply world class, another that the Norwegian seafood industry understood that communicating about sustainability can be strengthened through independent third party certification. Norwegian stakeholders recognised MSC as a credible program, tested this in the assessment of saithe, and built on that experience with herring, mackerel and now cod and haddock. I am confident that Norwegian seafood companies will benefit from this certification in the market, and look forward to continuing the great work with Norwegian fisheries stakeholders in years to come.”

About the Norwegian Seafood Export Council

NSEC was created by the Ministry of Fisheries in 1991, and is a limited company, in which all of the shares are owned by the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs. Norway exports seafood to around 150 different countries and NSEC is the world's largest joint marketer of seafood. Every year, NESC carries out several hundred activities in more than 20 different markets, and its entire effort is financed by the Norwegian seafood industry itself. NSEC’s activities include marketing and PR, market information, market access, information and crisis contingency. The Norwegian Seafood Export Council has about 50 employees, divided between its headquarters in Tromsø, and representatives in China, Japan, Singapore, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, USA and Brazil.

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