SAITHE caught by vessels operated by UK Fisheries, DFFU and Doggerbank Group can continue to sport the MSC ecolabel, following a 12-month assessment by ME Certification, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to fishnewseu.
The target species is fished in the North Sea, West of Scotland and the Norwegian Sea, with an annual tonnage of just over 7,000 tonnes.
The fishery consists of six vessels, using standard demersal rockhopper otter trawl nets equipped with sorting grids to allow juvenile fish to escape. The trawl mesh size must be at least 100 mm in EU waters, West of Scotland, 110 mm in the North Sea and 120 mm in Norwegian waters. However, all the vessels use 120 mm mesh (or slightly larger) in all areas. Trawling depth is mainly 200-250 m maximum ~300 m.
The fishery comprises one vessel from the UK, four from Germany, one of which is the new Mark ROS 777, and one from Poland. Deutsche Fischfang Union (DFFU) is one of the oldest fishing companies in Germany and, together with Doggerbank Seefischerei, the main part of the German deep sea fisheries. UK Fisheries, based in England, operates the UK registered trawler, Farnella H135. It is a joint venture between Samherji, based in Iceland, and Parlevliet & Van der Plas, based in Netherlands.
The main commercial market for the saithe is France.
The fishery first achieved MSC certification in January 2011. Every five years, fisheries in the MSC programme have to go through the full assessment process again to make sure they are continuing to meet the MSC Fisheries Standard. This reassessment showed a key strength of the fishery through their management system; specifically the control measures with strict monitoring and enforcement by EU, Norwegian and Russian authorities under joint agreements including a discard ban – 100% of all fish caught is landed. The fishery was recertified unconditionally for another five years.
Uwe Richter, Chair of Deutsche Hochseefischerei (Association of the German High Seas Fishermen) and Managing Director of Doggerbank, said: “The recertification of the Deutsche Hochseefischerei saithe fishery once again confirmed, that this fishery is working sustainably and in accordance with healthy fish stocks, so products from this fishery can be consumed with a good conscience! We are very proud of that – and at the same time conceive this as an incentive and our duty to continuously improve our management system in order to meet the MSC´s high certification requirements today and in the future.”
Jane Sandell, Chief Executive of UK Fisheries Ltd, said: “We are pleased with the recertification of the UK Fisheries saithe fishery. We believe that this provides a continuation of customer confidence in our product while demonstrating the quality of our management systems.”
Claire Pescod, UK Fisheries Outreach Manager, said: "It is great to see this fishery continue to confirm its commitment to sustainability. The initial certification of this fishery back in 2011 showed that through international collaboration and the hard work of fishermen great things can be achieved and this recertification proves their good work continues – they should be very proud of their achievement.”