North Sea cod certified as sustainable
British favourite - cod is back on the menu after 10 years of industry effort
Over a decade since North Sea cod stocks came close to collapse, fish merchants, suppliers, restaurants, fish and chip shops and their customers can finally buy the popular species with a clear conscience and a recognised certification. Scottish and English cod boats, belonging to the Scottish Fisheries Sustainable Accreditation Group (SFSAG) are now MSC certified.
Thanks to the enormous efforts of a coalition
of fishing organisations with support from seafood brands and the industry body, Seafish, North Sea cod has passed an
independent assessment against the MSC’s strict standard. The news means that –
subject to strict traceability requirements – North Sea cod can now be sold
through MSC Chain of Custody certified supply chains from MSC fish suppliers to
certified restaurants and fish and chip shops bearing the MSC ‘blue tick’ label.
North Sea cod’s long road to recovery
The plan linked the number of days fishing that boats were given to the conservation measures they signed up to. The plan aimed to reduce cod catches by 25 per cent in 2009, followed by subsequent annual reductions of 10 per cent. In response, the Scottish industry closed large spawning areas to fishing and introduced a system of real time closures to protect aggregations while trialling new nets and developing a system of remote electronic monitoring using CCTV cameras on board boats.
Mike Park, Chairman of the Scottish Fisheries Sustainable Accreditation Group (SFSAG), comments: "This is a massive development for the catching sector and is a testament to the power of collective action. The years of commitment to rebuilding North Sea cod has shown that fishermen are responsible and can be trusted to deliver stable and sustainable stocks. The certified restaurant or chip shop can now offer their customers locally-caught cod with a clear conscience.”
MSC Fish suppliers and chippies alike, are excited about the sustainability success story of this popular local species;
William Crooks, at Dennis Crooks Fish Merchants commented
We need to get the message out there to the general public that fresh British cod is now available as MSC certified sustainable – to correct any previously confusing media messages.”
Craig Maw, NFFF Director and owner of major award-winning Kingfisher Fish & Chips was delighted at
the news and what it might mean for the industry;
Who would have thought that MSC certified sustainable North Sea cod would be on our menus at this time. Now shoppers and diners can eat with confidence enjoying sustainable cod from local UK waters, and where the MSC’s blue tick logo is displayed…This fantastic news could result in more shops joining the MSC programme - and why not, this is certainly something to celebrate!"
Adrian Fusco, The Whitby Fish and Chips Company said; "We have been monitoring the arrival of the first MSC certified North Sea cod extremely closely over the last few months.It’s exciting news for us because we are so passionate about the sustainability of our dishes. We get many requests for MSC certified North Sea cod and are looking forward to providing our customers with it.”
Laky Zervudachi, Director of sustainability at Direct Seafoods;
Toby Middleton, MSC Programme Director, North East Atlantic explains: "This is a huge accomplishment and the perfect example of what the MSC aims to achieve. Thanks to a collaborative, cross-industry effort, one of our most iconic fish has been brought back from the brink. Modified fishing gear, catch controls, well-managed fishing practices – all these steps have come together to revive a species that was in severe decline. By only choosing MSC certified sustainable North Sea cod, we can all help to protect this much-loved fish and ensure it’s never at risk again.”
George Clark, Senior Commercial Manager at MSC commented; "This is excellent news which I’m sure will help develop a huge amount of interest from customers and throughout the restaurant and take away trade. Being able to enjoy once again this highly popular and now certified sustainable species will be met with the positive reaction it deserves, for all the efforts the fishery has put into helping this famous local fish bounce back. Choosing MSC certified seafood from fisheries, fish suppliers and restaurants or shops guarantees sustainable fishing methods, traceable fish, and helps protect the life in our oceans for generations to come.
Story By: MSC
Web Link: www.msc.org
Date : 19-07-2017