Scotian shelf shrimp fishery receives MSC sustainability certification
The Scotian shelf shrimp (Pandalus borealis) fishery entered into assessment by three processors-Northsyde Processing Limited, L'Association Coopérative des Pecheurs de l'Ile Ltée, and Produits Belle Baie Ltée-has earned Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification following an independent review against the MSC standard for sustainable, well-managed fisheries. Products from these companies participating in the fishery will now be eligible to bear the blue MSC ecolabel, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to MSC.
About the Scotian shelf shrimp fishery
Scotian shelf shrimp is sold as cooked and peeled northern shrimp or prawns primarily in the United Kingdom, northern Europe and parts of North America. The fishery operates in Shrimp Fishing Areas (SFA) 13, 14 and 15 on the Scotian shelf off eastern Nova Scotia with an annual Total Allowable Catch (TAC) that has averaged 5,000 metric tons in recent years. Harvesting of shrimp is open year-round, however, the majority of harvesting takes place from April to October. Vessels use otter trawls with a Nordmore groundfish separator grate installed to reduce bycatch to almost negligible levels (<2 percent).
The three companies involved can now help meet demand for MSC-certified northern shrimp in the marketplace. This supply is in addition to existing MSC-certified northern shrimp products coming from this area under a different certificate.
What the fishery says
Jim Kennedy, president of Northsyde Processing Limited, a division of Louisbourg Seafoods Limited, says: "We are very pleased to be able to provide MSC-certified shrimp to markets that are demanding MSC certification. The fishery here is well-managed and through this achievement we are proud to be able to demonstrate to the market that our practices are sustainable."
Fernand Brideau, speaking for Produits Belle Baie Ltée, says: "This new certification for Scotian shelf shrimp bolsters our existing MSC-certified shrimp supplies coming from the Gulf of St. Lawrence. We are pleased to be able to expand the volume we can sell to markets that seek MSC-certified product."
Serge Haché, speaking for L'Association Coopérative des Pêcheurs de l'Ile Ltée, says: "The Lameque Coop is proud to have our vessels participate in this certified shrimp fishery. We take sustainability very seriously in the shrimp fishery on the Scotian shelf and in other parts of Atlantic Canada and are pleased to be part of this MSC certificate."
What the MSC says
"MSC congratulates the three companies engaged in the Scotian shelf shrimp fishery on this achievement," said Kerry Coughlin, regional director for MSC Americas. "These companies join many in Nova Scotia and other parts of Canada demonstrating through MSC certification they are committed to sustainability."
About the certifier
Scientific Certification Systems was the independent certifier for this assessment. During the assessment, the three principles of the MSC standard were evaluated in detail: the status of the fish stock, the impact of the fishery on the marine ecosystem and the management system overseeing the fishery. More information about the Scotian shelf shrimp fishery and the complete Public Certification Report detailing the fishery's scores against the MSC standard can be found on MSC's web site at www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/certified.