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SSLLC U.S. North Atlantic swordfish longline fishery achieves MSC certification

The Sustainable Swordfish LLC (SSLLC) U.S. North Atlantic swordfish longline fishery has attained certification to the global Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard as sustainable and well-managed. Following an independent assessment conducted by Intertek Fisheries Certification (IFC), swordfish (Xiphias gladius) from this fishery is now eligible to carry the blue MSC ecolabel.

About the Sustainable Swordfish LLC (SSLLC) US North Atlantic swordfish fishery

The SSLLC U.S. North Atlantic swordfish longline fishery operates along the U.S. East Coast from Maine to the Atlantic tip of Florida. The fishery is open year-round and pelagic longline gear with hooks are used to target swordfish in the area. Swordfish from this fishery is primarily sold fresh in restaurants and retail markets across the U.S.

As Atlantic swordfish (Xiphias gladius) is highly migratory, the species is managed by the International Commission for the Conservation of the Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), which conducts stock assessments and sets total allowable catches for swordfish; and by the Highly Migratory Species Management Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which establishes regulations for U. S. vessels.

Demonstrated sustainable principles help to ensure health of oceans

“We are pleased to attain MSC certification as a sustainable and well-managed fishery,” said Bill Struzziery, Resource Manager of North Coast Seafoods Corp. and President of Sustainable Swordfish LLC. “By demonstrating sustainable principles, including spearheading international harvest restrictions and advancing the use of circle hooks and other innovative gear tools and techniques, the SSLLC US North Atlantic swordfish fishery is helping to lead the way in contributing to sustainable seafood for future generations. We welcome MSC certification as validation of the hard work taken by the fishery to continue operating in a responsible and sustainable manner and consumers can now be assured that this fishery is recognized as sustainable and well-managed against the MSC standard.”

Certification to the MSC standard will help to safeguard seafood supplies for the future

“We congratulate the SSLLC U.S. North Atlantic swordfish fishery on the achievement of attaining certification to the global MSC standard,” said Geoff Bolan, MSC’s U.S. Program Director.  “The commitment and demonstrated sustainability of this fishery will help to safeguard seafood supplies and contribute to healthy oceans for the future.”  

About the certification

Intertek Fisheries Certification (IFC), an independently accredited conformity assessment body, conducted the third-party assessment against the global MSC standard. To achieve MSC certification, fisheries are assessed against three principles - the status of the fish stock, the impact of the fishery on the marine ecosystem and the fishery's management system. For additional information about the assessment process, visit MSC Fisheries Standard