Icelandic Group Begins MSC Full Assessment for all Cod and Haddock Fisheries in Iceland

October 28, 2010 14:29
  • Icelandic Group taking leadership role in MSC assessment of Icelandic fisheries
  • Commercial relevance for seafood industry in Iceland and fair access to world markets
  • Part of Icelandic Group's continued investment in the Iceland fisheries

Icelandic Group - one of the five largest seafood companies in Europe and within the top 10 worldwide - has begun a process of sustainability certification of all cod and haddock fisheries in Iceland to the standard of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) - an internationally renowned benchmark for well managed fisheries. Successful assessment will create open access to world markets that will deliver fair opportunities and choice for all Iceland's Fishermen, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to Icelandic Group.

It is with great pride and excitement that Icelandic Group has taken this leadership role within the global seafood industry. Icelandic Group purchases and markets 35% of Iceland's total fish quota and MSC assessment is a key part of its continued investment into Icelandic waters. It's the most widely recognised and trusted indicator of seafood sustainability and, upon certification, Icelandic Group will be able to use the increasingly demanded blue ecolabel - passing on its numerous associated benefits to customers.

Iceland is the world's 11th largest seafood exporter by value 1. The certification assessment will cover cod and haddock stock in Icelandic Exclusive Economic Zone (200 nautical miles) within ICES division area V (Food Agriculture Organisation area 27) using Demersal otter trawl, Danish seine, long line, hand line and gill net as harvesting methods. When this assessment process has been successfully completed by Den Norske Veritas (DNV), all cod and haddock from Iceland fisheries - a total allowed catch of 160,000 tonnes of Cod and 50,000 tonnes of Haddock per year - will qualify to feature the blue MSC ecolabel.

Rupert Howes, Chief Executive of the MSC says: "Icelandic Group's decision to enter all cod and haddock fisheries in Iceland into MSC assessment is of huge historical significance and will impact everyone involved in the catching, processing and sale of Iceland's whitefish. Icelandic Group is a leading seafood company on the European and American markets and their pioneering commitment to the MSC process will have a great impact in the markets that they supply. I know that retailers and restaurant suppliers across the region will watch this assessment with great interest and eagerly await its conclusion. Iceland's cod and haddock fishers have a long and proud history and I look forward to a lasting and constructive relationship between them and the MSC."

1 Source: Statistics Iceland and FAO Ingvar Eyfjцrр, deputy CEO of Icelandic Group, said: "MSC certification assessment is part of Icelandic Group's continued investment in the Iceland fisheries and we are delighted in taking a leading role in this project. MSC certification, in our mind, will confirm what a robust and responsible fisheries management system we have in Iceland, and support fair access of Icelandic seafood to the world market now and in the future. The MSC's blue ecolabel will provide our customers with an obvious, universally identifiable way to recognise the best environmental choice in seafood - Icelandic seafood."

By undergoing the MSC assessment process, Icelandic Group is strengthening its competitiveness in the international marketplace by adapting to changing market demands - providing its customers with the peace of mind that the fish they're buying comes from a well managed and sustainable source. In turn, they will be able to pass these benefits on to their customers and consumers, supermarket shoppers, those eating out in restaurants - all of whom are becoming increasingly focussed on sustainability and seeking the MSC ecolabel. Already, Icelandic Group is party to the Icelandic Responsible Fisheries (IRF) scheme and views the two labels as complementary within the global seafood market.

Ingvar Eyfjrр continues: "I would also like to congratulate the Group's Sustainability Leadership Team on their work to drive this project forward. Led by Sustainability Director Nigel Edwards, this cross functional group of specialists recruited from across the Group has been pivotal in creating a

common voice for our pioneering role in sustainability and providing fair global market opportunities for Icelandic seafood products."

For further media information, please contact:

  • Icelandic Group Plc, Tinna Molphy, tinna@icelandic.is, (t) 00 354 560 7801 (m) 00 354 861 1440.
  • UK and Europe: Amaze PR, Karen Winstanley k.winstanley@amaze.com (t) 0161 838 8707 (m) 07827 277616.
  • USA and Canada: Icelandic USA, Michele Moyer, mmoyer@icelandic.com, (t) 757-820-4012
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