Wednesday, July 16, 2014

MSC Certifies 13 West Coast Groundfish Trawl Fisheries

Thirteen groundfish trawl fisheries in waters of the exclusive economic zone off of the US West Coast have been certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council, an independent non-profit organization based in London.

MSC made the announcement in its international newsletter on July 11, saying these fisheries were certified in early June.

The fisheries include arrowtooth flounder, chilipepper rockfish, Dover sole, English sole, ling cod, longnose skates, longspine thornyheads, petrale sole, sablefish, shortspine thornyheads, splitnose rockfish, widow rockfish and yellowtail rockfish.

Harvesters in these limited entry commercial fisheries work in the Pacific exclusive economic zones off of Washington, Oregon and California between the southern Canadian exclusive economic zone border and the northern Mexican exclusive economic zone border.

Limited entry fisheries limit the number of vessels allowed to participate in the fishery, and these fisheries are divided into limited entry bottom and pelagic trawl and limited entry longline, traps and pots.

The harvest competes in both the fresh and frozen product markets, on a global scale with similar species from other regions of the world, and with other fish species, such as salmon and tuna.

MSC also announced that it is in the final stage of a two-year review of its fisheries standard, a process that the organization said has included fisheries managers, marine biologists, environmental organizations, governments and commercial partners.

Results of the review will help shape the new MSC fisheries standard and certification requirements, which are to be launched in October, MSC officials said.

The process has helped MSC ensure that its fisheries standard reflects the latest fishery science and management, and that it draws from the expert knowledge of the MSC’s diverse range of global stakeholders, organization officials said.

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