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Again MSC certification for the North East Atlantic mackerel fishery

From 11 May 2016 onwards, Cornelis Vrolijk and Jaczon may sell their mackerel (Scomber scombrus) catches from the North Atlantic with the sustainable fisheries certification of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) again. The vessels of Cornelis Vrolijk and Jaczon are part of a group of 700 vessels (varying from coastal hand liners to large pelagic trawlers) for which a joint application for certification was filed through an international consortium.
The Mackerel Industry Northern Sustainability Alliance (MINSA) works together since 2012 to prove the sustainability of their catches of this popular fatty fish. Cornelis Vrolijk is represented in the MINSA group by the Pelagic Freezer Trawler Association (PFA), of which all Dutch pelagic fishing companies are members. In total, 9 countries are involved: United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, France, Ireland and Lithuania.

Gerard van Balsfoort, President of the PFA: “I am proud of the cooperation among the fisheries organisations, which has led to this successful joint MSC-certification. It provides powerful proof of the engagement of European pelagic fishermen to contribute to sustainable fisheries and responsible management of fish stocks in the long term. The European mackerel stock is very healthy and we all hope that obtaining the MSC-label will further encourage European consumers to include this healthy fatty fish in their diets.”

Most fleets part of MINSA have previously been certified for their mackerel fishery. In 2012, the MSC-certificates were repealed because total catches had been above the level advised by scientists for two consecutive years. The underlying reason was that some countries outside the EU and Norway, of which the fisheries were not MSC-certified, had increased their catches substantially. In addition, the international agreements on the management of the mackerel stock had been aborted. Fishermen and ministers of the countries involved have engaged in intensive negotiations to mostly resolve the disputes. As a result, mackerel can be found in the shops again with its proven sustainable status.

For more information on MSC certification see:


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