Dutch fishers have been told TR2 fisheries will temporary lose their MSC certification for fish caught using twin-rig trawls or flyshooting

Dutch fishers have been told TR2 fisheries will temporary lose their MSC certification

Vissersbond in the Netherlands have advised their members that TR2 fisheries will temporarily MSC Certification.

The team of experts that annually audits the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certificate of the Joint Demersal Fisheries partnership, which also includes the Cooperative Fisheries Organisation (CVO), will suspend TR2 fisheries from next Monday, 22 November 2021, for a year.

Fish caught using the twinrig or flyshoot method (mesh size less than 100mm) from this date may therefore no longer be landed and sold under the MSC JDF certificate. Fish caught before this date and sold on or after Monday, November 22, 2021 may still be sold with the MSC label, provided the date of capture of the fish can be proven.

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Cod stock status

Brexit has led to very complex negotiations between the EU, Norway and the United Kingdom on the setting of catch quotas. One of the consequences of this political game is that the quota for cod has been set higher than advised by science. As a result, cod could not be assessed as a main target species, but as a by-catch species, for which different criteria apply. This has forced the auditor to suspend, among other things, the fisheries that fall under the TR2 segment in the certificate of the CVO for the coming year. Plaice under the MSC label are mainly landed in suspended fisheries.

The CVO regrets that due to the changed cod situation, the TR2 fishery has been suspended and a significant part of the fleet will not be able to land MSC-certified fish in the coming year. In the run-up to the MSC audit, the CVO stated several times that catches of cod in the TR2 fisheries are rare, if at all. However, this did not prevent a suspension. The CVO is looking forward to a more positive assessment of the status of cod, so that the suspension imposed may be lifted during next year’s audit. The CVO will continue to work towards this in the coming period.

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