The great mackerel grab

mackiesEurope’s mackerel fishery is to lose its valuable Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) accreditation at the end of this month.

Following so soon after the nephrops fishery withdrew it really calls into question the effectiveness of politicians and fisheries management.

The MSC took the decision after the European Union (EU), Norway, Iceland and Faroe granted themselves a total ‘quota’ of nearly 700,000 tonnes consequently the MSC are suspending accreditation for eight mackerel fisheries from the  31st of March and any mackerel landed in Europe after that date will not be able to use MSC’s eco label.

According to Scottish fishing secretary Richard Lochhead : “The suspension of MSC certification for mackerel is very frustrating. Ensuring the stock is sustainable – and recognised by international bodies such as the MSC – is in everyone’s interests. “

However, if the great mackerel grab continues unabated there is a real prospect of the mackerel stock falling below safe limits by 2014 and as mackerel are a food source to many other species, the effect will not just stop there.

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