UK Fisheries, DFFU, Doggerbank Group saithe fishery certified as sustainable
UK Fisheries, DFFU and Doggerbank Group saithe fishery - an international grouping of fishing companies -has been certified as sustainable against the MSC standard. The certification follows a 17 month assessment by independent certifier, MEP. The certification covers saithe caught by the group's seven vessels in the northern North Sea, the Kattegat and the west of Scotland, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to MSC.
About the fishery
The vessels catch saithe using rockhopper otter trawls (a form of bottom trawl) and - where permissible - all bycatch is landed resulting in low discards. Quotas are set annually by the Norwegian Government and European Council of Fisheries Ministers and follow scientific advice from ICES.
A member of the cod family, saithe is a firm, off-white coloured fish with a subtle flavour and good flake. Historically unpopular in the UK because of its grey colour when un-cooked, saithe has seen a new growth in popularity in recent years.
As part of its certification, the fishery has committed to developing a partial strategy to habitat monitoring in fishing areas and to put in place a system to avoid fishing in sensitive habitats within three years.
Responsible management practices
Nigel Atkins, Chairman of UK Fisheries says: "We are delighted to receive MSC certification which rewards the responsible management practices employed by our skippers, which together with the rigours of the EU/Norway joint management plan has combined to produce a stock in robust health. The recent surge in the demand reflects in part consumer demand for saithe that is being fished sustainably and we are confident that markets throughout Europe will respond favourably to our MSC certification."
Collaboration and hard work
Claire Pescod, UK Fisheries Outreach Manager for the MSC says: "The certification of UK Fisheries, DFFU and Doggerbank Group saithe confirms their commitment to sustainability. The fishery has shown that - through international collaboration and the hard work of fishermen - great things can be achieved in maintaining and improving the health of the saithe fishery. In addition to the work they have already carried out, these organisations have committed to further improvements as part of their MSC certification."