The herring fishery of the producer organisation FROM Nord still as sustainable says the MSC
The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation has announced the latest version of the Mk3 FishSAFE unit, the essential safety information tool for fishermen working near offshore oil and gas infrastructure in the UK Continental Shelf, is now available.
FishSAFE Mk3 includes major improvements such as a high-resolution touch screen and trackball option.
FishSAFE updates its internal hazards database automatically from the internet and there is also an online messaging facility. The internet connection uses cable or WiFi, including via mobile phones on tether.
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), an international NGO committed to the preservation of the oceans, announces the renewal of the MSC certification of the pelagic herring fishery carried by the producer organization FROM North, thus confirming once again its fishing practices are sustainable.
The fishery brings together nine artisanal pelagic trawlers in Hauts de France and in Normandy and catches around 2,500 tonnes of herring per year.
Like 90% of certified fisheries, it will have to continue its progress by meeting one condition: consolidate collaboration with the other countries operating on this stock to formalize common management rules.
A selective and environmentally friendly fishery
After five years of certification, punctuated by successful annual audits, the fishery has been completely reassessed by the certification body and the experts from Control Union Pesca, as foreseen by the MSC program.
The nine boats thus successfully obtained their recertification according to the latest version of the MSC Fisheries Standard.
They therefore once again prove that they ensure the sustainability of herring stocks, minimize their impact on marine ecosystems and meet the scientific, environmental and demanding criteria of the MSC.
In fact, the pelagic trawl is a selective fishing technique that allows catches in the water column, without touching the bottom, while targeting fish precisely and limiting bycatch. The herring fishery thus captures 95% of herring, and the other species are all marketed. Certified since 2015, fishing is seasonal: the tides, which are by night, take place from the beginning of October in the North Sea until March in the East Channel.
A local base for Hauts de France herring
The newly certified fishery can thus continue to offer consumers French wild fish from sustainable fisheries, bearing the blue label of the MSC. Most of the catch from the herring fishery is intended for canning and salting processing) and the rest is directed towards the fresh market (fillet or whole).
The fishery sells its products both on the French market (by landing in the auctions of Boulogne-Sur-Mer, Dieppe and Fécamp), Dutch and German. Approximately 2000 tonnes of French herring certified MSC sustainable fishing can thus be sold to the consumer.
Many local businesses value this fish; this is particularly the case for the Boulonnaise company JC David which offers labeled smoked herring and the Petit Pierre cannery, located near Boulogne-sur-Mer.
The challenge of joint management of small pelagics
To be able to maintain its certification, the herring fishery must continue to work in close collaboration with Norway, the United Kingdom and the other countries of the European Union concerned to consolidate the management in place on this herring stock.
If, in the opinion of the scientists of 2019, the stock is today at a sustainable level, the adoption of new common catch control rules and a long-term management plan are necessary to ensure that the North Sea herring population remains in good health in the years to come.
Managing small pelagic species in the North East Atlantic such as herring, sardines, mackerel or blue whiting is a real challenge: these fish species live a short time and the state of their population can therefore vary considerably according to environmental and human.
These species also have a very wide range and migration and their stocks are therefore exploited by boats from many countries which must absolutely cooperate so that the total catches of all countries do not endanger the fish population.
Margaux Favret, Fisheries Manager of MSC France: ” This new certification recognizes the long-standing involvement of herring fishermen from the North for environmental protection and we warmly congratulate them on this success. The challenges of international cooperation coming are great, especially in the context of Brexit, and we encourage FROM North and its members to continue their efforts, together with the other herring fishermen concerned, to succeed in consolidating the management of this stock on the short, medium and long term. ”
Thierry Missonnier, Director of FROM Nord:”We are very pleased with the MSC re-certification of our herring fishery which confirms its sustainability. The MSC certification brings us a promotion of our productions, allows us to reassure the consumer by guaranteeing that our practices are sustainable and also allows us to bring points for improvement and to advance professionals. ”
Source: Marine Stewardship Council