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Commercial Fishing

INCOME SECURITY FOR FISHERMEN AND NEW MARKETS ARE KEY BENEFIT OF MSC ECOLABEL

Income security for fishermen

Income security for fishermen and new markets are key benefit of MSC ecolabel to newly recertified Scottish haddock

Selling into new European markets and the retention of existing domestic markets are two key benefits of MSC certification for Scottish haddock, according to new research.

Improved reputation and income security were also cited in the study as benefits by research and science communications consultancy Seedly and the New Economic Foundation.

MSC certified Scottish haddock is part of the Scottish Fisheries Sustainability Assessment Group (SFSAG) Northern Demersal Stocks fishery certificate which is celebrating after gaining re-certification against the MSC Standard this month.

Some 89% of those surveyed said they maintained market access in the UK, while 67% agreed that the reputation of the fishery had improved. Interestingly, 44% reported improved access to European markets, including in Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands, reflecting a growing demand for sustainable seafood across Europe.

Other unexpected benefits included improvements in quality control and improved morale, the researchers found.

Mike Park, chair of the SFSAG, said: “MSC certification has become intrinsic to the economic success of SFSAG member vessels. The recertification is, in our eyes, acknowledgment that our fishermen continue to nurture the stocks in a way that it provides continued sustainability.  The MSC badge is very much seen by the fishermen as their own tick in the box.”

Katie Keay, Senior Fisheries Outreach Manager, UK & Ireland, said: “We are delighted that this key Scottish fishery has recertified to the newest version of the MSC Standard. This fishery has added new species since it was first certified in 2010 and with over 400 vessels targeting bottom-feeding fish we’re pleased that Scottish haddock, hake, plaice, saithe and whiting remain certified to the MSC Standard.

“We look forward to seeing how the certificate might develop in the future.”

Haddock is the most valuable demersal whitefish species for the Scottish fishing fleet. Over 20,000 tonnes of haddock were landed into Scotland by Scottish vessels in 2021, worth £28.8 million. Globally, there are 20 haddock fisheries that have met the MSC Fisheries Standard.

Combined, these fisheries represent 93% of the global haddock catch being MSC certified. The UK is an important market for these fisheries, accounting for nearly 76% of all MSC labelled haddock product sales (by volume) globally.

Source Press Release

 

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