Newfoundland herring purse seine fishery enters MSC full assessment process

April 28, 2010 12:49

Barry Group Inc. (BGI) has entered its herring purse seine fishery into the independent, third-party assessment under the Marine Stewardship Council's (MSC) certification program.  The assessment will evaluate the fishery against the Marine Stewardship Council Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Fishing and, if successful, products sold through Barry Group Inc. will be eligible to bear the MSC ecolabel recognizing products from well-managed and sustainable sources, reports with reference to MSC.
About the BGI herring purse seine fishery

The fishery under assessment will encompass all herring purse seiners targeting Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) off the west coast of Newfoundland (NAFO Division 4R). Herring in 4R is comprised of two distinct stock components: spring and fall spawners.  While the herring fishery is open year round, operation of the fleet is in part dependent on weather and sea ice conditions. Seasonal opening dates are identified on the condition of license issued annually at the time of permit renewal. Recent Total Allowable Catches set by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans for herring in 4R are 20,000 tonnes and the purse seine fleet component is about 11,000 tonnes.
What the fishery says

Bill Barry, president of the Barry Group says: "Our company is pleased to be entering the MSC certification process for this important herring stock.  The company was founded in 1854 on the basis of this stock so we have a vested interest to be responsible stewards of this resource. It is a win-win-win for the stock, our company and our employees."
What the MSC says

Kerry Coughlin, MSC Americas regional director, says: "This announcement by the Barry Group to enter full assessment against the MSC standard for their Atlantic herring purse seine fishery demonstrates their commitment to sustaining the fishery. In addition, with seafood buyers and consumers increasingly demanding assurances that fisheries are protected, Barry Group Inc., if certified, should have a positive impact in the marketplace."

The assessment will be carried out by independent certifier Moody Marine Limited.  Anyone who would like to bring information about the fishery to the attention of the certifier can be involved in the assessment process. If you would like to be involved, please contact Amanda Park at  It is anticipated that the assessment will be completed within 12 months.

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