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New Tool Documents Sustainability in Cod and Haddock Fishing

11 March 2015

NORWAY - A three-year WhiteFish project, involving industry organisations and 15 researchers from all over Europe, has led to the development of a new method and standard to document the environmental impact and sustainability of cod and haddock.

This is about documenting everything from the individual fishing vessel’s environmental audit, including fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, to the fisheries’ significance to society.

"We have systemised a huge quantity of data about everything that happens relating to harvesting, processing and distribution," said  Scientist Kathryn Donnelly of Nofima.

The fisheries industry is subject to strict rules for documentation and traceability. Using the standard developed in WhiteFish, individual companies can plot information about their operation and calculate their environmental audit and sustainability, which means that individual companies can identify where they could improve in terms of the environment, welfare and economy.

The Batch-based Calculation of Sustainability Impact (BCSI) method is based on a huge quantity of collected data and makes it possible for those in the industry to make ongoing sustainability assessments for their own products.

WhiteFish has been a three-year (2012-2014) EU project, with Senior Scientist Petter Olsen of Nofima as project coordinator. The method that was developed is now being implemented and tested in practice and the associated standard is under consultation with industry organisations and other stakeholders.

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