More MSC success for French fisheries

February 16, 2011 15:19

Scapeche and the Compagnie des Peches Saint-Malo were today certified as sustainable against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) environmental standard for sustainable and well managed fisheries. The certification relates to the saithe (Pollachius virens) fishery in the North-East Atlantic, North Sea, and Northern Norwegian Sea, reports with reference to MSC.
Two new MSC certified fishing companies for Brittany

The two fishing companies are based in the Brittany region, Scapêche in the city of Lorient and Compagnie des Pêches in Saint-Malo. They entered MSC assessment more than 14 months ago, under the coordination of the National Association of Producers' Organizations (ANOP). The certification was conducted by the MacAlister Elliott and Partners Ltd (MEP) Certification Body, who appointed a team of independent scientists and experts. The evaluation examined the fishery's performance against the three fundamental principles of the MSC standard: sustainable fish stocks, minimizing ecosystem impacts, and effective management of the fishery.
Management improvements required as part of certification decision

As part of the certification decision, the fishery must undertake management action plans to improve understanding of the potential interactions between the fishery and non-targeted and protected species, such as the common skate. As required by the certifier, MEP, the two companies have undertaken to implement measures to ensure that their fishing activity is targeted accurately and to limit its potential impact. These include: on-board identification and registration of bycatch figures for protected species; information to employees on sensitive habitats; separation at auction; and detailed reports by independent on-board observers.
Engaging our crews through a sustainable fishing programme

Welcoming the certification decision, Dominique Périer, President of Scapêche, said: "Saithe is one of our most iconic species. We have been developing a Sustainable Fishing policy since 2006, which has helped to engage our staff on issues such as good management of fish stocks, the wider marine environment, fishermen's working conditions and our products' freshness. This organization-wide commitment is now further strengthened by the MSC program. The MSC certification is the logical extension of the dialogues we have already initiated with scientists, and it is now great testimony that our saithe fishing operations are sustainable."
Asking the right questions for our future

"The MSC certification process helped us formalize the actions our staff had already initiated, but also to go further," adds Martine Edouard- Leborgne, from the Compagnie des Pêches Saint-Malo. "The real strength of the MSC program lies in the rigorous scientific evaluation which is demanded. This work encourages asking the right questions for the future, so that we can preserve our resources and ensure the sustainability of fishing activities."
 "In all aspects, whether management of fish stocks, impact on marine environment, and staff engagement, the MSC certification process validates our company's sustainability policies, initiated many years ago," states Patrick Soisson, Compagnie des Pêches Saint-Malo's President.
A collaborative project

Julien Lamothe, General Secretary of the ANOP, adds: "By facilitating the shared certification, we are happy to have been able to bring together these two companies for which saithe is a key species, at national as well as European level. These fishing companies have demonstrated their ability to lead from the front and add value to their products through the MSC ecolabel".
Great news for saithe and its future

Congratulating the fisheries, Edouard Le Bart, MSC Country Manager, France, said: "This certification is great news for the future of the French saithe fishing fleet, both in terms of sustainability for the species as well as market perception. I am delighted to congratulate the two Brittany companies for their successful undertaking which launches what will be, I hope, a positive year for sustainable fishing practices in France".

About Scapeche

Scapeche, the Societe Centrale des Armements Mousquetaires a la Peche, part of the Groupement des Mousquetaires, has fleets operating in the Atlantic and Antarctic oceans. Scapêche owns 18 active vessels, totalling 220 fishers and officers.  The workforce catches, processes, and packs seafood products for human consumption in Europe, Pacific Asia and America. Engaged in the implementation of sustainable fishing practices since 2004, with today 6 vessels and 7 recognized species (fresh or frozen), Scapêche pursues its sustainability strategy through the MSC certification program.
About The Compagnie des Pêches Saint-Malo

The Societe anonyme of the group Compagnie des Pêches Saint-Malo comprises 18 fishing vessels active in the French, Norwegian, Greenland, Faroese and Canadian economic areas, as well as in the Guyanese areas. The group totals 170 fishermen and officers. The workforce fishes, processes, packs and freezes on-board seafood products for human consumption, distributed in Europe, Asia and Northern Africa.  Strongly committed, and awarded by the Prize of Sustainability in 2005, the Compagnie des Pêches pursues its certification strategy through the MSC program.
About the ANOP

The National Association of Producers' Organizations (ANOP) gathers 8 producers' organizations; recognized under the European law, it operates in all French marine fronts (North Sea, Channel Sea, Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea), implementing management guidelines for rational and sustainable marine resources exploitation. The ANOP encourages seafood products sales with an action on first sale organization, gathering all actors of the industry. The ANOP represents its members in all national and international levels, in order to coordinate its actions with other European producers' organizations.

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