‘Royal Frysk Muscheln’ enters blue mussel fishery into full assessment against MSC sustainability standard

German processor ‘Royal Frysk Muscheln GmbH' has agreed to fund the assessment of three Danish blue mussel fishing vessels against the MSC standard for well-managed and sustainable fisheries. Independent certifiers ‘Moody Marine Ltd' will undertake the assessment and estimate that the process will take 10 months to complete, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to MSC.
Details concerning the certification

If the fishery is successful in meeting the standard, the harvest of all three vessels will be eligible to carry the MSC's blue ecolabel. The MSC label shows that the product is fully traceable to a sustainable and well-managed fishery. Consumers in markets throughout the world report a growing recognition of the MSC label which is used by many producers and retail companies around the world to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable seafood.

The assessment will focus on the following areas: the status of the blue mussel stock; the impact of the fishery's operations on the wider marine ecosystem; and the fishery's management system.

"The sustainability of the mussel fishery is the highest priority for our processing business. Our profession will only have a future if we manage to preserve the mussel stocks," explains Stephan Tack, Executive Director at Royal Frysk Muscheln. "That is why we have set ourselves the ambitious goal of getting the three Danish mussel vessels MSC certified. We hope to be able to provide our clients with MSC-labelled products from this fishery in the near future."
Where are the fishing grounds?

The fishing grounds of the three vessels are located along the eastern coast of Jutland, Denmark. Last year, the landings of the three vessels totalled 5,790 tonnes, which accounted for 88 per cent of the total blue mussel landings of eastern Jutland. Fishing for blue mussels is conducted between March and May and September and mid December. Each year, the Danish Fisheries Directorate sets a quota for the blue mussel fisheries. The current quota per fishing vessel and week amounts to 300 tonnes.
More about the management

The fishery is managed by the Danish Commission of Commercial Fisheries. The management is informed by regularly analysed biological data and geographic information systems that are used to map the spread and development of the various mussel stocks. The data derived from these tools helps in directing fishing efforts to the most productive mussel beds. The fishers contribute to a precautionary management of their fishery through various measures and have voluntarily reduced the fishing quota to 150 tonnes per vessel.

Marnie Bammert, Country Manager at MSC, adds: "The MSC runs a market-based programme that uses supply chain influence to drive positive change in fisheries. We are very pleased to see Royal Frysk take an active role in this assessment as such positive cooperation between suppliers and buyers truly benefits sustainable fisheries."
About Royal Frysk Muschel GmbH

Royal Frysk Muschel GmbH is a modern, medium-sized company processing blue mussels out of Emmelsbüll-Horsbüll, Germany. Among others, the company is supplied by the three independent Danish fishing vessels that are currently undergoing assessment to the MSC standard.

Royal Frysk supplies customers all over Europe with a variety of mussel products, including cooked, frozen and ready-to-eat blue mussels. In Germany, the company has an important client base in the landlocked region of Rhineland where the blue mussel has come to fame through a recipe named after this region, the Muscheltopf rheinischer Art.

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