Scottish pelagic fishermen enter 4th fishery for MSC assessment

February 9, 2011 16:04

The Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group (SPSG) has entered its West of Scotland herring pelagic trawl fishery into MSC assessment. If the fishery is successful, it will mean that all of the SPSG's key landings will be MSC certified, reports with reference to MSC.

The SPSG already holds MSC certificates for its North Sea herring, Atlanto-Scandian herring and North East Atlantic mackerel fisheries.  In total, the fisheries land around 200,000 tonnes of fish.  The SPSG was established in 2007 in response to an increasing demand from buyers for seafood that is demonstrably sustainable.  It represents all sectors of Scotland's pelagic industry, from catching and processing, through to marketing, and encompasses all of Scotland and Northern Ireland's 28 pelagic trawlers.
Fully committed to the MSC process

John Goodlad, SPSG Chairman says:  "At our recent board meeting the directors unanimously agreed to enter the West of Scotland herring fishery for full MSC assessment.  SPSG are fully committed to the MSC process, with the aim of having all the main Scottish pelagic fisheries certified. 
"After successfully achieving MSC certification for North Sea herring (July 2008), Western mackerel (January 2009) and Atlanto Scandian herring (2010), it was a natural step for us to seek certification for the West of Scotland herring fishery.   If successful the four main Scottish pelagic fisheries, accounting for over 98% of pelagic quota by volume and value, will be under MSC certification.  It will also demonstrate to seafood buyers and to the public, our wholehearted commitment to sustainable and responsible fishing practices."
Progressive group

Claire Pescod, UK Fisheries Outreach Manager for the MSC adds: "The Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group's continuing commitment to demonstrating their sustainability through the MSC programme is outstanding. Between the Group's members they represent around 90 per cent of the UK's mackerel and herring catch and by aiming to add this fourth fishery to their portfolio, the SPSG is really demonstrating the business case for MSC fishery certification. I hope that we can all look forward to another successful certification from this progressive group."
Stakeholder involvement

The assessment will be carried out by independent certifier Food Certification International. Anyone with a stake in the fishery can be involved and FCI has already identified a number of stakeholders. If you would like to be involved, please contact Melissa McFadden at

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