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Commercial Fishing


Cornish and Shetland Fisheries

Cornish and Shetland Fisheries honoured for their achievements in seafood sustainability at the Marine Stewardship Council UK’s annual Sustainable Seafood Forum and Awards at Fishmongers’ Hall, London.

The Cornish Sardine Management Association (CSMA), a group of Cornish fishermen and processors, formed in 2004 to agree common standards for catching, processing and marketing Cornish sardine, won the MSC UK Scientific Contribution to Seafood Sustainability Award. This is a new category to recognise a group, or individual, who has advanced scientific understanding in a way that contributes to the ability to sustainably manage a fishery.

The win celebrates the CSMA’s fresh approach to data collection, with industry and scientific support, which has helped ensure sustainable exploitation of the Cornish sardine stock while demonstrating an example of scientific innovation leading to, and ensuring retention, of an MSC certificate. The Cornish Sardine fishery was certified by the MSC in 2010 and re-certified in 2017.

Gus Caslake, Seafish Southwest Project Manager, said: “The members of the Cornish Sardine Management Association (CSMA) feel very privileged to receive the Scientific contribution to Seafood Sustainability Award from the MSC. Our thanks must go out to Cefas, without whose guidance, support and assistance our self-sampling scheme would not have had the impact in improving sardine stock assessment. We will be building on the work instigated under the Cefas Fisheries Science Partnership to further improve links with our fishermen, processors and fisheries scientist. We are very thankful for this award as it recognises all the hard work carried out by all parties to ensure the sustainability of an iconic Cornish fishery.”

The Shellfish Management Organisation (SSMO) won the MSC UK Special Achievement Award for the progress they have made in driving improvements in the Shetland Inshore Brown crab and scallop fisheries.

Shetland Shellfish Management Organisation (SSMO) Shetland Inshore brown crab & scallop fisheries were first certified in 2012 with eight conditions for improvement. In order to close out these conditions, the fisheries implemented a number of changes, from required landings data collection to proactive protection of vulnerable seabed habitats.

As a result, last year the fishery was successfully recertified with only one new condition. The progress that SSMO made to achieve this recertification is a phenomenal example of how the MSC incentivises the adoption of sustainable practices and serves to inspire other shellfish sectors to drive forward improvements to reach the highest level of sustainability.

Carole Laignel, Inshore Co-ordinator, SSMO, said: “We are a small inshore community fishery which has just over 100 fishing vessels the majority of which are part-time creel fishermen with around 20 full time scallop vessels.

“Our brown crab and scallop fisheries were first certified in 2012 but we had a number of conditions which required improvement. This was achieved with the help of scientific advice from our local North Atlantic Fisheries College Marine Centre who carry out our stock assessments, data collection and surveys amongst other things.

“We were delighted when we achieved MSC recertification for our brown crab and dredge scallop fisheries last year both of which are the only fisheries of this kind in Europe to have MSC