Nephrops fishery withdraws from accreditation

| March 22, 2012

The North Sea nephrops fishery has been withdrawn from seeking MSC certification.

Originally put forward in 2007, it has taken so long to get through the process that the assessment criteria have changed.

Provisional results indicated the Fladen grounds would pass the assessment, but none of the other areas of the North Sea would and in particular, the Firth of Forth and the Moray Firth could only receive the standard if they were managed separately.

The commercial sector representative group considers that to be overly restrictive and unnecessary as they feel the benefits of individual quotas for each fishing area are far outweighed by the resultant restriction on activities of the fleet and administrative complexity.

According to Iain MacSween, CEO of the Scottish Fishermen’s Organisation : “While we are very disappointed that we have had to make the decision to withdraw from the MSC process, we are unanimous that the decision is correct. The MSC assessment criteria simply do not take into account the reality of the situation for stocks such as this. I firmly believe that the North Sea Nephrops stock is healthy, a fact supported by the science, and that it is managed in a sustainable way.  SFO will continue to promote and sell NS Nephrops as a truly sustainable choice.”

There is of course the question of whether the commercial sector pursue accreditation as a means of increasing their income rather than a means of ensuring the sustainability of stocks and preservation of the marine environment – withdrawing from the process could suggest the former.

The Clyde nephrops fishery is not accredited.

Category: Commercial

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