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Joint Swedish, Danish Nephrops Fishery Begins MSC Assessment

28 May 2013

SWEDEN and DENMARK - In a world first, the Swedish and Danish nephrops fisheries have decided to join hands and enter, as a joint client group, into full assessment against the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries.

If successful, nephrops harvested from the certified fishery will be eligible to carry the distinctive blue MSC ecolabel, which assures consumers and buyers they are traceable to a sustainable source.

About the Fisheries

The clients entering into full assessment are Danske Fiskeres Producent Organisation (DFPO) and Fiskeri AB Ginneton. The assessment process is expected to take 12 months and is scheduled for completion around May 2014.

The fishing methods are demersal trawl and creel. The fishery operates in Skagerrak and Kattegat all year around. In 2012 landings from Danish vessels were approximately 3000 tonnes and from Swedish vessels 1000 tonnes.

Commercial Market for Nephrops

“We have noticed that more and more people are asking for MSC certification. For Swedish fishermen the MSC certification is a proof that we fish sustainably and we can meet our customers' sustainability requirements. So we are strengthening our competitiveness,” says Jan Norlenius, Swedish fisherman.

Danish nephrops are mainly sold frozen to Southern Europe (Italy and France) but small quantities are sold chilled to local markets. Of the Swedish neprops harvest, approximately 20 percent is sold fresh domestically and the rest is exported to Denmark for freezing and to be sold in southern Europe.

The Fisheries Say

“We are very excited to be able to start the MSC assessment of the nephrops fisheries in Skagerrak and Kattegat. It is the single most valuable fishery in the area, and thus of vital importance to the Danish fishing industry. We hope that the assessment will document that with closed areas, custom-developed nets and an upcoming trial discard ban ahead of the rest of the EU, this is indeed a fishery worthy of the MSC label,” says chairman of the DFPO, Kurt Madsen.

“We are also very pleased to be able to do this in collaboration with our Swedish colleagues. To a fisherman, the seas between our countries are not what separate us, but in a very physical sense what allows us to meet – so it only makes sense that we should also cooperate on achieving MSC, as we already do on so many other areas.”

The MSC Says

“Stakeholder consultation is a vital part of the MSC assessment process, and helps ensure thorough and robust assessments. We therefore encourage anyone with scientific information and knowledge relevant to this fishery (in terms of the status of the stock, ecosystem interactions and by-catch or fishery management practices) to share this with the independent assessment team,” says Minna Epps, Manager Baltic Sea Region.


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