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New Supply of MSC-Certified Sea Scallops Available to the Market

29 July 2013

CANADA - Canada’s historic Bay of Fundy and surrounding fishing areas can now add Marine Stewardship Council-certified seafood to their list of achievements for a commercial sea scallop fishery that has been in operation since the late 19th century.

The fishery, entered into assessment by the Full Bay Scallop Association (FBSA), has achieved MSC certification as a sustainable and well-managed fishery following an independent, third-party assessment against the MSC principles. Atlantic sea scallops (Placopecten magellanicus) from this fishery are now eligible to display the MSC ecolabel.

In the Final Certification Report (FCR) the Conformance Assessment Body (CAB) recognized a core strength that the fishery’s harvest strategy conforms to Canada’s legislative and policy developments in conservation and sustainability objectives that are intended to manage the health and productivity of Canada’s fisheries while protecting diversity and habitat. The CAB included an action plan that directs the fishery to contribute additional data and information from the fishery and about marine ecosystem impacts over the life of the certification that will help inform managers and regulators.

The sea scallops harvested by the Full Bay Scallop Association fleet are landed fresh, and they are sold fresh and frozen in markets primarily in Canada and the United States. Landings by the FBSA fleet in the 2010/11 season were 1,047 metric tonnes. With certification, scallops landed by this fishery after October 30, 2012, the eligibility date established by the CAB, may use the MSC ecolabel.

Dick Stewart, Manager of the Full Bay Scallop Association, said: “The Full Bay Scallop Association is very proud to achieve MSC certification for the Full Bay Scallop fishery which has taken place for over 100 years. The Full Bay Scallop fishery will continue to be fished sustainably and will continue to be well managed into the future. Now the whole world will know that the Full Bay Scallops are not only of the highest quality, but also sustainable for another 100 years. We wish to thank the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Province of Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture for their tremendous help with achieving this certification.”

Kerry Coughlin, Regional Director, Americas for the Marine Stewardship Council, said: “Sea scallops are highly favored by chefs and home cooks across North America and around the world. With MSC certification, the Full Bay Scallop Association fishery becomes an additional source of this delicious and delicate seafood that consumers can enjoy knowing it can be fully traced back to a certified sustainable fishery. We congratulate the Full Bay Scallop Association and the fishers committed to maintaining a long legacy of responsible harvesting of the resource.”

The sea scallop season in the Bay of Fundy region is year-round with seasonal closures in some areas. The vessels in the Full Bay Scallop Association fleet are less than 65 feet in length and use Digby dredge gear to fish under Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs).

The independent, third-party assessment process against the MSC standard was conducted by Food Certification International Ltd, which made the final determination that the Canada Full Bay sea scallop should be MSC certified as a sustainable and well-managed fishery.

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