Dutch suspended culture mussel fishery crowned sustainable
"Zeeuwse mosselen" - mussels from the Dutch province of Zeeland, a very popular and typical Dutch specialty seafood product - are now eligible to bear the MSC ecolabel: The Dutch Association of Suspended Culture Mussel Farmers (in Dutch: Zeeuwse Hangcultuurkwekers) has been certified to the Marine Stewardship Council standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries. The association has been working towards MSC certification for almost one and a half years. The assessment was carried out by independent certifier SGS Nederland B.V., reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to MSC.
About the fishery
The Dutch suspended culture mussel fishery is located in the Dutch coastal region of the Zeeland delta and comprises four members. The fishery produces mussels collected as spat on mussel seed catching systems that grow-out on suspended ropes or nets. The total landings in 2010/2011 were 1,500 tonnes. The mussels are mainly sold to restaurants in the Belgian and Dutch markets.
Since its foundation in 1994, the Dutch Association of Suspended Culture Mussel Farmers has striven to increase the farming of suspended culture mussels in the waters of Zeeland and to stimulate the sales of cultured products. To support MSC assessment, the association received a grant from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation in 2010.
Restaurants can offer sustainable Dutch mussels on their menu
"We are glad and proud to have earned MSC certification," says Jaap Geleijnse, president of the Dutch Association of Suspended Mussel Culture Farmers, who is very optimistic about the future of suspended culture farming: "The MSC certificate recognises our efforts and demonstrates that we have successfully made sustainability our highest priority. Now we can assure our commercial partners and consumers that they are choosing a high quality and sustainably-sourced product. Restaurants in particular can profit from that assurance to consumers when they serve sustainable Dutch mussels to their guests."
Contribute to a sustainable seafood market
Nathalie Steins, MSC manager Benelux van MSC : "I congratulate the Dutch Suspended Culture Mussel fishery on the successful completion of the MSC assessment process. Their certification contributes significantly to the availability of fresh certified seafood to the restaurant market and offers consumers a sustainable choice when it comes to dining out."