Thursday, October 15, 2015

15/10/2015: First Swedish prawn fishery MSC certified

A Swedish prawn fishery has achieved certification to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard for sustainable fishing. Following a rigorous, third-party assessment, prawn products from this fishery can carry the blue MSC ecolabel, meaning Swedish consumers can now buy fresh MSC labelled prawns. The blue ecolabel tells consumers that the prawns are caught using sustainable methods that preserve the ocean environment for the future.

After a 20-month assessment of the fishery, a team of independent experts has concluded that the fishery meets MSC’s high standards.

“We are delighted that we can offer MSC certified prawns. With environmentally conscious customers, it is important that we are able to prove that the prawns are fished sustainably. Therefore, we have chosen to undergo this assessment towards MSC's fishery standard”, says Henrik Johansson, coordinator of the fishery’s certification at Gothenburg Fish Auction.
Image: Maria Eklind
Commitment to ongoing sustainability
The MSC Standard is globally recognised as the most rigorous and independent certification for sustainable wild-caught seafood and is consistent with the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation’s (FAO) Code of Good Conduct for Responsible Fishing. By entering into the MSC program, the Swedish prawn fishery is making an ongoing commitment to sustainability.

“WWF welcomes the MSC certification and sees it as a step in the right direction towards a more sustainable fishing of prawns in Skagerrak and Kattegat. With MSC certification, we now have clear traceability from sea to table”, says Inger Melander, Expert on Fisheries and Market, WWF.

First Swedish MSC-labeled prawns
There are already MSC labeled prawns in most supermarkets in Sweden, but this fishery is the first that will be able to deliver fresh Swedish MSC certified prawns. These prawns are caught all year round and the fishermen use trawls equipped with a sorting grid that excludes bycatch. The fishery produces almost 1500 tonnes of prawns annually.

“We are very happy that a shellfish with this big importance for the Swedes has become MSC certified. This fishery means a lot for anyone who wants to buy fresh MSC labeled prawns – and at the same time be certain they come from a sustainable fishery”, says Christoph Mathiesen, Program Director of MSC in Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea region.

An independent and transparent process
An independent certification body carried out the assessment, engaging various organisations and experts, including WWF, ICES, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management and the Swedish Coast Guard.

Visit the MSC site HERE.

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