Inshore Cod and Haddock: closer to completing MSC certification

October 22, 2010 15:18

An important milestone in the MSC-certification of inshore cod and haddock has now been passed with the ICES approval of the rebuilding plan for coastal cod, reports with reference to Nordic Group.

In April this year, the Norwegian offshore cod and haddock fisheries were awarded MSC certification in a ceremony at the Brussels Seafood expo. We in Nordic Group have been close participants in this process, and were proud to see this part of the certification come to a close.

However, the fresh cod and haddock, caught by coastal boats in the inshore fishery are still under certification. This is, after all in our opinion, the heart of the fishery, comprising among others the iconic "Skrei" fishery in Lofoten. The MSC-certification of the inshore component has had a longer time perspective, due to its higher complexity. An important factor here has been the inevitable bycatch of coastal cod; a subpopulation defined by ICES as "depleted" and subject to strict regulations to minimize catches.

Now in October, an important milestone was passed. Norwegian authorities have designed a comprehensive rebuilding plan for coastal cod which has been under review by ICES for several months. This rebuilding plan has now been approved by ICES. In their conclusion, ICES states that the rebuilding plan is "(...) expected to lead to significant rebuilding". This approval is expected to satisfy the requirements to complete the ongoing MSC-certification of the fishery.

We're proud to be able to continue offering sustainable cod and haddock to our clients, and are now happy to have an even stronger scientific base to support this claim. We are now working with our suppliers to ensure that Chain of Custody (CoC) will be in place, so we can deliver fish with the MSC logo as soon as possible. The assessment is now scheduled for completion in January 2011.

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