Multi-national approach welcomed

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The impressive partnership approach of multi-national fisheries working together in a bid to deliver Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for north-east Atlantic mackerel underlines the commitment of northern European pelagic fishermen to sustainable fishing.

This is the view of Ian Gatt, secretary of the Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group and co-ordinator for the Mackerel Industry Northern Sustainability Alliance (MINSA), which is co-ordinating the programme for MSC reassessment of north-east Atlantic mackerel.

More than 700 mackerel fishing vessels from Scotland, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden, have joined together under the MINSA umbrella to enter MSC reassessment – the largest ever international collaborative approach for such certification this side of the Atlantic.

Mr Gatt said: “This is truly an unprecedented partnership approach and is a strong demonstration of the commitment of northern European pelagic fishermen to sustainable fishing and the responsible long-term management of the fishery. The mackerel stock is in good shape and gaining the MSC eco-label will confirm to consumers the sustainable nature of the fishery, which in turn will benefit fishermen and seafood processors throughout northern Europe”

Food Certification International (FCI) will undertake the reassessment on behalf of the MINSA group, a company with a wealth of experience in pelagic fishery assessments.