First French fishery awarded MSC sustainability certification

March 16, 2010 10:15

EURONOR, the French saithe fishery, based in Boulogne-sur-Mer, has just been awarded the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certificate for sustainable and well-managed fisheries following a 13-month assessment. This is the first French fishery to achieve MSC certification and saithe (Pollachius virens) from the EURONOR fleet is now eligible to display the MSC eco-label, reports with reference to MSC.

A press event will be held at the MSC stand (6-853) at the European Seafood Exposition in Brussels on 28th of April to celebrate the certification.
About the French saithe fishery

Five EURONOR fishing vessels target saithe in the North Sea, off Western Scotland, and in the Norwegian Sea. The fleet produces 16,000 metric tones of saithe annually. With fishing rights representing over 90% of the French quota for this species, it is the largest saithe fishing company in France and one of the largest in Europe. The fleet comprises three freezer vessels which process their catch into fillets at sea and two wet fish vessels which land fresh fish and sell them through auction.
What EURONOR says

Xavier Leduc, CEO of EURONOR, said: "Our experience over the past 13 months has been extremely positive and we are proud to be the first French fishery to achieve MSC certification. In the highly competitive markets in which we operate, the MSC ecolabel is a seal of approval for sustainable fishing and it also opens doors to new markets. Over the past months we have witnessed some notable developments in the fresh fish market and a growing interest from fish wholesalers. Many of them have already taken the necessary steps to get MSC Chain of Custody to ensure the traceability of our MSC-certified fish."

Bruno Leduc, Deputy CEO of EURONOR, commented: "The MSC assessment process, which we entered voluntarily, has enabled us to make some improvements to our management systems to protect the environment, preserve fish stocks and secure the long-term future of our fishery. This is a thorough assessment process which requires an active commitment from the fishery. Its scientific robustness and transparency has enabled us to approach the assessment with peace of mind. We have been very impressed with the expertise and professionalism of the expert scientific team, convened by MEP, our certifier."
What the MSC says

Nicolas Guichoux, MSC Regional Director, said: "On behalf of the MSC, I would like to congratulate EURONOR for becoming the first certified French fishery. As of today, saithe from the EURONOR fleet will be eligible to carry the MSC ecolabel.  From an environmental and culinary perspective, saithe is a species that deserves to be better known by the general public, I am confident that the MSC certification will help add value to this fishery."

Edouard Le Bart, MSC Manager for France, added: "This first certification is a milestone for the French market. I know that it will be welcomed by the seafood industry - many have already obtained chain of custody for the species, and certified saithe from the EURONOR fleet will soon be available in the French market. I would like to congratulate EURONOR for achieving MSC certification and I hope that the four French fisheries, currently undergoing full assessment, will follow in their footsteps."
The MSC programme in France

Today, 65 fisheries are certified to the MSC standard for sustainable fishing. 120 are currently undergoing full assessment - including 4 French fisheries [in French].

Today, over 190 products carry the MSC ecolabel in France and French consumers will soon be able to choose saithe carrying the MSC logo in stores. Worldwide, more than 3800 seafood products, which can be traced back to the certified sustainable fisheries, bear the blue MSC ecolabel.

Find out where to buy MSC-labelled products in shops and restaurants around the world.


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.

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