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Faroes Queen Scallops Achieve MSC Certification

21 October 2013

FAROE ISLANDS - Queen scallops from the Faroe Islands have won the coveted blue MSC ecolabel after a 14 month independent assessment by certifier Vottunarstofan TĂșn ehf. The certification follows a five year effort by fishery managers to win MSC certification for their fishery.

With fishing licenses granted to a single vessel, the scallop fishery has a long history of low-impact, fishing and it scored well on its environmental impact and management. However, it had previously suffered do to a lack of scientific data on scallop stocks.

By using the MSC’s risk-based framework (RBF), the auditors were able to establish the sustainability of the stocks by taking a more precautionary approach to ensure that stocks are sustainable and there is very little risk of stock and habitat harm from fishing practices. As part of the certification, managers have committed to further improvements to build scientific data available on scallop stocks and how quickly fishing grounds recover.

Jógvan Martin F. Joensen from the fishery said: “Based on long-term stable catches we have always been convinced that our queen scallop fishery is sustainable in every sense and now customers and consumers can easily verify that by seeing the MSC logo. The certification process took a long time as fishery evaluators needed scientific information, which was not immediately available. Having achieved the MSC certification is a positive development in our fishery and has already proven to be advantage when marketing the products abroad.”

Good reputation further strengthened

Gisli Gislason, MSC Manager Iceland and Faroes, welcomed the certification: “The Faroese queen scallop fishery has a good reputation for sustainability and the commitments they have made to further improvements will only help to strengthen that reputation. Products from Faroese scallop find a wide and diverse audience with shells being exported for calcium and the scallop meat sold in markets across Europe. I am very proud to welcome them to join the ranks of certified sustainable fisheries around the world.”

Products from the fishery are already available from O.C. Joensen and buyers interested in purchasing MSC certified Faroes queen scallops should contact Mr. Viggo Dam on e-mail

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