Sealord is the company that has the largest participation in Polish fishery, which has been granted MSC-certification. (Photo: Sealord/FIS)
Blue whiting fishery obtains MSC certification
Friday, May 04, 2012, 22:20 (GMT + 9)
Sealord Group celebrates that the southern blue whiting trawl fishery has been awarded the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) sustainability certification. Sealord is NZ’s largest quota holder of this species.
Sealord chief executive Graham Stuart said the certification gives customers additional assurance that the industry and the government have been working to ensure that New Zealand fishing is sustainable.
"As New Zealand's largest exporter of Southern Blue Whiting, Sealord is delighted the work of our industry and government to ensure fishing is sustainable has been endorsed," said Stuart, Voxy News Engine reports.
|Chief executive Graham Stuart. (Photo: Sealord)
The company has a 27 per cent share of the southern blue whiting total allowable commercial catch (TACC); it exports the fish to the US, Asia and Europe.
"MSC certification will help with our export business. More customers and consumers are looking for high-quality, sustainable protein and independent, science-based assessment programmes are a good way to provide assurance to these people," he added.
MSC said a rigorous independent assessment demonstrated that the fishery in question is healthy, the fishing practices had minimal impact on the marine ecosystem and that the fishery was well-managed overall.
In 2010-11, the government set a TACC of 44,848 tonnes, of which 39,000 tonnes were landed.
MSC said the certified vessels employed bycatch mitigation devices, such as bird bafflers and tori lines, and administered fish waste discards to lower interactions with seabirds.
The deepwater fleet used a marine mammal operating procedure to minimise marine mammal captures.
"Trawling operations in the fishery occur over a relatively small area that does not change substantially from year to year, resulting in a low level of impact on seabed habitats," MSC said.
Southern blue whiting was New Zealand's fourth-largest deep water export species by value last year. It now joins hoki and albacore tuna as New Zealand's third fishery to receive the MSC certification.
By Natalia Real