Posted on March 1, 2007

Sustainable fishery re-certification gives ‘edge in retail market’

Four-million-pound harvest holds onto eco-label

The Marine Stewardship Council said Thursday a mackerel fishery off the southwest England has been re-certified as sustainable and well managed.

The South West mackerel handline fishery in Cornwall, initially certified in 2001, has an individual quota of 1,750 metric tons (3.9 million pounds).

The fishery is one of 22 fisheries worldwide that are certified to the MSC standard. In total, over 50 fisheries with annual catches of more than 3.5 million metric tons of seafood are engaged in the MSC program.

The re-certification allows the fishery’s catch to continue to be labeled with the MSC’s blue eco-label.

“We’re delighted that our MSC certificate has been renewed. MSC certification certainly led to better prices, as some buyers will only source products with MSC label,” said David Muirhead, secretary of the South West Handline Fishermen’s Association. “This re-certification definitely gives us an edge in the retail market.”

South West Handline Mackerel is available in Tesco and Waitrose supermarkets in the United Kingdom.

The combined harvest of MSC-certified fisheries represents 42 percent of the world’s wild salmon catch, 32 percent of the prime whitefish catch, and 18 percent of the lobster catches for human consumption.

“This is great news,” said Alice McDonald, MSC’s fisheries assessment manager. “I am pleased to see a fishery that has capitalized so well on its MSC certificate. This is a fantastic demonstration of the economic case for MSC certification.”

The MSC Wednesday announced the launch of the 500th sustainable fish product bearing the group’s eco-label has hit store shelves.

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