A sixth French fishery aims for MSC certificate

September 3, 2010 10:05

EURONOR and the Compagnie des Pêches Saint Malo have applied jointly for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for their cod and haddock catches, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to MSC.
A joint approach to fishery certification

The FROM Nord, the producers' organisation of which both companies are members, will support and facilitate the MSC certification process. The organisation also holds the entire French quota for cod (Gadus morhua) and haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) in the northeast Arctic Ocean, a quota which it shares annually between the Compagnie des Pêches Saint Malo and Euronor.

Cod and haddock represent the main harvest of the Compagnie des Pêches Saint Malo trawler, the Grande Hermine.  Euronor principally targets North Sea saithe (for which it secured MSC certification in March 2010); the company also operates three freezing trawlers - the Cap Nord, the Klondyke and the Nordic II - also used in the northeast Arctic Ocean cod and haddock fishery.
An ongoing commitment to demonstrating sustainability

Euronor's saithe fishery was the first French fishery to achieve MSC certification and the Compagnie des Pêches Saint Malo is currently undergoing assessment for certification of its own saithe fishery.
Statement from the three partners

"We support our members' efforts to achieve MSC certification", said Thierry Missonnier, Director of FROM Nord. "This is an extension of our efforts to manage our fishing resource sustainably. Our members have already initiated MSC processes for saithe. Since FROM Nord was set up in 1960, we have been working very closely with Euronor and the Compagnie des Pêches Saint Malo to implement consistent and environmentally friendly measures to manage both these stocks. This joint approach is evidence of our will to strengthen our management policies."

Xavier Leduc, Euronor CEO, commented: "We became the first French fishery to achieve MSC certification in March and we are committed to this path. We want to be in a position to offer a wider range of MSC certified products and help this relatively new ecolabel to develop throughout France. The success of our eco-certification is linked to the MSC's success in France in that by renewing our commitment and diversifying our range we hope to reach an even larger number of French consumers. Cod and haddock are sought-after species in France and we hope to be in a position to supply the French market with MSC-certified cod and haddock in 2011."

Martine Edouard, Communications Manager of the Compagnie des Pêches Saint Malo also added: "French consumers are becoming increasingly aware of environmental issues and we want to be able to provide them with scientific proof of our sustainability by means of an independent certification which is recognised worldwide. We hope that MSC certification will also enable us to add value to our products in France and develop the exportation of our products."
Statements from the MSC

Nicolas Guichoux, Director of the MSC in Europe, said: "We are delighted that a new French fishery has chosen the MSC approach to evaluate their environmental performance and fishing practices. Should its application be successful, the certification of this fishery will help diversify the MSC offering in France and will undoubtedly give the fishery access to many different export markets. The commitment of fishermen to independent certification is crucial to raising awareness among consumers and offering them a greater variety of certified sustainable seafood. Stakeholder engagement in fishery assessments is also a key element of the MSC program and I hope many stakeholders will get involved in the process."

Edouard Le Bart, MSC Manager for France, adds "EURONOR and the Compagnie des Pêches Saint Malo have already become involved in the MSC certification program with saithe, and their desire to bring about a common certification covering two new species, namely cod and haddock, is a vote of confidence in the MSC. The involvement of FROM Nord, which manages the French quota of both species in these waters, also brings coherence to the project. With the certifications already obtained for saithe and sardine and the assessments currently underway on lobster and toothfish, this new entry reinforces the growing interest of French producers and the supply chain in the MSC ecolabel. I wish them the very best of success in this new assessment."
The MSC assessment process

The assessment process focuses on the three fundamental principles of the MSC standard, namely the sustainability of targeted stock, ecosystem preservation and the efficiency of the fishing management system. In order to guarantee complete impartiality and the greatest transparency, the evaluation process will be carried out by MacAlister Elliott and Partners Ltd (MEP), an independent certification body, and a team of scientific experts.  If you would like to become involved in the assessement as a stakeholder, please contact MEP at mep@macalister-elliott.com

For more information on fisheries engaged in the MSC program, please visit: http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery

Find out where to buy MSC-labelled products:  http://www.msc.org/where-to-buy
About the three partners

Euronor, Comptoir des Pêches d'Europe du Nord, was jointly set up in January 2006 by two large fishing vessels owners of Boulogne sur mer, the Société Boulonnaise d'Armement Le Garrec, established in 1929 and Nord Pêcheries, established in 1945. Sharing the same pioneering spirit and values, Le Garrec and Leduc families decided to pool their experience and their knowledge in order to become a major actor of the saithe and deep-sea species fisheries in Europe.
Euronor was awarded MSC certification for its saithe captures in March 2010, becoming the first French fishery to achieve MSC certification.

La Compagnie des Pêches Saint Malo owns an 18-vessel fleet which operates in the fishing areas of France, Norway, in the Faroe islands, in Greenland as well as in Guyana. The Compagnie des Pêches Saint Malo has 170 sailors and officers. Its at-sea staff fish, process, pack and freeze on-board seafood designated for human consumption in Europe, Asia and Northern Africa.

Awarded a "sustainable development oscar" in 2005, the Compagnie des Peches wishes to further develop its internal sustainable development strategy with the pursuit of MSC certification.

The Compagnie des Pêches Saint Malo is currently undergoing full assessment for its saithe captures.

FROM Nord, created in Boulogne sur Mer in 1960, includes the last ship-owner of the port of Boulogne (Euronor), the Compagnie des Pêches Saint Malo and the vast majority of netters of Boulogne and Calais, as well as the shipowners of Dieppe, Fécamp and the Bay of Biscay.

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