SCOTLAND, UK - Fishermen in Scotland’s £26.6 million haddock fishing industry have made a new commitment to sustainable fishing as scientists gather in Aberdeen to examine the fleet’s performance.
One hundred and ninety two Scottish haddock boats are hoping to extend their ‘MSC certified’ status through to 2020. The move follows a recently–released independent report highlighting the benefits of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification to the Scottish haddock industry.
Scottish boats landed over 23,000 tonnes of North Sea haddock last year and the report, by Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management showed that 30-40 per cent carried the blue MSC label. Following the initial certification in 2010, Sainsbury’s started sourcing MSC certified Scottish haddock. Certification also helped the Scottish industry secure markets in Canada, with frozen food specialist Jane’s continuing to choose Scottish haddock to help meet its commitment to selling MSC certified fish.
Sainsbury’s Ally Dingwall explained: "Sainsbury’s has a long-standing commitment to ensure all the fish we sell will be independently certified as sustainable by 2020. We wanted to offer our customers Scottish haddock and the fishery’s MSC certification gave us an assurance that in doing so, we would be helping to protect both the environment and the long-term livelihoods of Scottish fishing communities. By buying MSC certified Scottish haddock, Sainsbury’s is sourcing great fish for our customers, strengthening our position as the leading retailer for sustainable seafood, and supporting a sustainable fishery that continues to invest in its good practice."
Benefits to the Environment
The Scottish haddock fleet has a formidable reputation for sustainability and they have continued to make improvements through their first MSC certification. Twenty of the boats have installed CCTV to help with monitoring catches and the whole fleet has improved its fishing gear reducing bycatches of cod and spur dog.
The Scottish haddock industry has a long history of sustainable fishing, with industry leader, Mike Park receiving an award from WWF in 2011 for encouraging sustainable fishing practices in Scotland and beyond.
Claire Pescod, from the MSC, congratulated the Scottish haddock fleet on their latest step: "Few fisheries in the world have reached the standard set by the Scottish haddock fleet. Their work over the past five years of MSC certification really shows their commitment to sustainability and responsible management. It’s good to see that MSC certification is bringing tangible benefits to the Scottish haddock industry and I hope we will see these continue. We know that some processors are already prepared to pay up to 10 per cent more for MSC certified Scottish haddock and research from the Sustainable Restaurant Association shows that 43 per cent of diners in restaurants would pay more for a sustainable meal."
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