Irish Polyvalent mackerel fishery wins MSC certificate
The Irish Pelagic Sustainability Association (ISPA) western mackerel fishery has been certified as sustainable following a 19 month MSC assessment, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to MSC.
IPSA welcomes certification
Eibhlin O'Sullivan, CEO of the Irish South & West Fish Producers Organisation and speaking on behalf of the IPSA says: "The Irish Polyvalent Fleet is really pleased to have achieved MSC certification ahead of the 2010 fishing season. This Certification award recognises the high standards of governance and environmental performance under which the fishery operates; it means that our customers will be able to order our MSC certified mackerel with confidence that IPSA fishing practices contribute to sustainability. Thanks to the eligibility date rules, we can also supply frozen mackerel from last season - also with the MSC ecolabel."
"Mackerel is a key species for the Irish Polyvalent Fleet and Ireland's seafood export market, supplying fish into European markets as well as Russia and Africa. The fishing season starts in early autumn - usually around the start of October - and the IPSA's twenty vessels target catches with mid-water trawl nets with a quota of 6,000 tonnes. The fishery is supported by an Environmental Management System (EMS) onboard IPSA vessels, displays a low level of recorded by-catch in recent years and has no negative interactions with protected species."
Forward looking fishery with a proud history
Eibhlin O'Sullivan continues: "The Irish Polyvalent fleet is proud of our long history in pelagic fisheries, IPSA vessels support the rational and sustainable exploitation of our fishery resources and to this end are always looking to the future. The Icelandic quota issue is therefore of concern and we will be participating in international discussions to bring quotas into line with the practices of the certified sustainable mackerel fisheries here in Ireland and in Scotland, Sweden and Norway.
Certified sustainable mackerel in high demand
Toby Middleton, Country Manager for the MSC, says: "With its MSC certificate, the IPSA and Irish Polyvalent Fleet has demonstrated its sustainability and its ongoing commitment to sustainable fishing practices and management. While the Icelandic quota remains a challenge for all mackerel fisheries in these waters, I am confident that the IPSA will add their voice to the discussions and negotiations and I congratulate the mackerel fishermen on their certification. Demand for certified sustainable mackerel is high across Europe and I am sure that they will soon start to reap the rewards of their hard work."