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Commercial Fishing



Norwegian boost for MSC certification of Icelandic capelin fishery. The capelin fishery off Iceland is now MSC-certified, and according to senior adviser Tor Bjørklund Larsen of the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association (Fiskarlaget), this is important for turnover and a boost for the Norwegian fleet.

Large parts of the Norwegian purse seine fleet are currently preparing to participate in capelin fishing in the Icelandic economic zone. Prior to this, Fiskarlaget, as the Norwegian client manager for MSC, has just signed an agreement with Icelandic Sustainable Fisheries (ISF) which makes it possible for Norwegian fishermen to sell the catch as MSC-certified.

Sales director Knut Torgnes of Sildelaget Norges Sildesalgslag (Norwegian Fishermen’s Sales Organization for Pelagic Fish) said: “Norges Sildesalgslag is very pleased that we in collaboration with Norges Fiskarlag have been included in the MSC certification for capelin from Iceland through Iceland Sustainable Fisheries.”

“Now it is important that the industry uses the certificate for landings of capelin from Iceland when the Norwegian vessels soon start their fishing over there, “says Torgnes.

About the certification

Capelin caught in Icelandic waters is MSC-certified through Icelandic Sustainable Fisheries for their Icelandic members.

However, an MSC certificate is “private property”, which applies to the player who has invested in the certification process. This means that even though Norwegian vessels that have participated in this fishery have so far fished up to their Icelandic colleagues with similar gear on environmental footprints, the capelin that Norwegian vessels have landed has not been considered MSC-certified.

This has now changed, after Fiskarlaget on 11 January signed an agreement on certificate sharing with ISF.

“We are pleased to have clarifications in place and that Norwegian vessels participating in the fishery are now part of the Icelandic certificate which has certificate number MSC-F-31299,” says Tor Bjørklund Larsen.

He states that the agreement between Fiskarlaget, as Norwegian client manager and ISF has a duration of five years.