First MSC assessment for introduced species kicks off with Dutch razor clam fishery

August 4, 2011 16:45

The Producers' Organisation of the Dutch Fishermen's Association (DFA) razor clam fishery has entered full assessment for Marine Stewardship Council certification. If successful, the fishery will be able to display the MSC eco-label on its products. The DFA razor clam fishery will be the first fishery to be assessed against MSC's policy guidelines for introduced species, reports with reference to MSC.

The assessment will be part-funded by a certification grant from the Dutch Ministry of Economics, Agriculture and Innovation, as part of the government's ongoing commitment to supporting Dutch fisheries seeking certification.

First introduced species assessment

Derk Jan Berends of the DFA says: "This fishery has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, fishing under the strict regulations of our organisation's management plan and the Nature Conservation Act. We are very pleased that with MSC's new policy guidelines we now finally have the opportunity to have our fisheries management independently assessed against the MSC standard for sustainable fisheries."

About the fishery

The DFA razor clam fishery takes place in the south-western and northern coastal waters of The Netherlands. There are 8 licences for the fishery on razor clams (Ensis directus), 4 of which are in use. The vessels operate suction dredges and catch approximately 3,500 metric tonnes fresh weight. This is 44% of the 2010 total allowable national catch (8,000mt). The razor clams mainly go to the Spanish and Italian markets.

What the MSC says

Nathalie Steins, Manager Benelux, says: "I am very pleased to welcome another Dutch shellfish fishery into our programme, particularly as they will also be piloting the MSC's guidelines on introduced species. I wish the DFA a successful assessment of their razor clam fishery against the MSC standards".

The assessment will be carried out by independent certifier Food Certification International and anyone with a stake in the fishery can be involved.

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