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EU Fisheries: An MSC ‘first’ for North Atlantic blue whiting

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Monday, 18 August 2014

EU Fisheries: An MSC ‘first’ for North Atlantic blue whiting

A group of Dutch, German, French, English, Lithuanian, Danish and Irish pelagic fisheries has entered the first North Atlantic blue whiting fishery into Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) assessment.
This is the third multi-national assessment of a pelagic fishery in recent months, marking a growing trend of cross-border co-operation in the sector, says MSC. By working together, national fishing organisations are reducing their assessment costs and collaborating to improve fishery management.
“It has been our longstanding intention to get our blue whiting fishery under MSC certification,” said Gerard van Balsfoort, president, Pelagic Freezer-trawler Association, on behalf of all fleets concerned. “Now the stock is doing very well and the development of an effective management plan for this fishery is entering its final phase, we are confident that the MSC assessment can be concluded successfully.”
Over recent years, stocks of blue whiting have risen as new management measures have taken effect. Between them, companies under assessment caught 73,000 tonnes of blue whiting in 2013, which is mostly exported to Africa and China as whole frozen fish for direct human consumption or for further processing into frozen block fillets.
Camiel Derichs, director, MSC Europe, added: “It is great to see these North Atlantic blue whiting fisheries enter assessment against MSC standards. These fisheries have invested a great deal in the quality of their fish and I hope that they will be successful and that their success will inspire other blue whiting fisheries to consider MSC assessment.”

Source: worldfishing.net