The Ministry of Trade and Fisheries in Norway has issued regulation on cod, haddock and pollack pollock north of 62 degrees north for 2023 Norwegian Cod Advice 2024 rising sea temperatures celtic ICES advice for a reduction in the total allowable catch for North Sea cod in 2024 is hard to explain say Fiskerlaget chief Kåre Heggebo msc certification norway's cod

The news of Norway’s inshore cod and haddock fisheries restored certification by the MSC has been broadly welcomed at home and abroad

The news that Norway’s inshore cod and haddock fisheries have regained certification by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has been broadly welcomed.

The announcement that Norwegian caught cod and haddock within 12 nautical miles once again achieved MSC Certification after losing the international symbol of approval in early May 2021.

Since 2010 MSC certifications included the inshore and offshore stocks of North East Arctic cod and haddock, but in April 2022 the fishery, Norges Fiskarlag, decided to apply for reassessment to the MSC Fisheries Standard for its offshore fishing only. The offshore cod and haddock catch was MSC certified while the inshore element was no longer part of the certificate.

But over the last year, the Norwegian Fisherman Association, Fiskarlaget, representing Norwegian fisheries, has worked with the fisheries to regain recertification for these economically important inshore cod and haddock stocks.

When cod and haddock migrate to shore it mixes with local coastal cod, which were not certified but were classified as IPI, (Inseparable, Practically inseparable).  The MSC standard, requires an IPI over time either to be separated out of catches or landings or also certified against the MSC fishery standard.

MSC certified fisheries meet strict science-based criteria for ensuring sustainable fish stocks, minimising environmental impacts, and effectively managing their fishery. Once certified, MSC fisheries undergo annual audits, deliver improvements against any conditions, and are reassessed every five years.

Details of current fishery assessments and certifications to the MSC Fishery Standard, including any objection that is accepted, are available on the MSC Track a Fishery website. 

Reacting to the news, Gisli Gislason, MSC Program Director North Atlantic said:

“The first Norwegian fishery (saithe) was certified in 2008, so this year it is the 15-year anniversary of Norwegian engagement in the MSC program, and we congratulate them for that.  The voyage of getting the inshore cod and haddock back as certified against the MSC standard for sustainable fishing has required successful cooperation and engagement of the fishery client with both the Norwegian government and research institute.

“Commercial partners buying from this fishery have been very keen to once again see this fishery certified, and I am sure that market demand has partly incentivized the client to let that happen.   We are grateful for this effort, and we congratulate Fiskarlaget and the Norwegian industry for this tremendous achievement. We look forward to continuous cooperation with all players involved.”

Tor Björklund Larsen, Senior Advisor at the fishery client, Fiskarlaget welcomed the news saying:

“We are pleased to see the inshore fisheries for cod and haddock finally come back into the fold as MSC certified. In order to keep these certificates, more work remains in the years ahead in further improving the management of coastal cod, hopefully in tandem with improvements to the MSC standard itself.”

For the Norwegian export industry then this is big step and Morten Hyldborg Jensen, CEO of Nordic Group and CCO Insula Whitefish says. “Exciting times for the Norwegian whitefish industry! We’re thrilled over the re-certification of our inshore cod and haddock by the Marine Stewardship Council.

This endorsement guarantees seamless access to key markets, including Sweden, the UK, Portugal, Germany and France. Our commitment to sustainability is recognized through the MSC logo.”

Portugal is the biggest export market for Norwegian cod and Rodrigo Sengo, the MSC Senior Program Development Manager, Portugal stated:

“We are pleased to see this important component of the Norway fishery in our program. Portugal has an historic and cultural relationship with cod, consuming around 70,000 tonnes of cod each year, with 70% of cod being imported from Norway. With more than 170 MSC labelled cod products in Portugal, consumer awareness along with demand on sustainable cod is increasing. With this major progress, the Portuguese market, supply chain and brands will be able to better support and recognize sustainable cod fisheries.”

The Norwegian seafood industry is important for their neighbours in Sweden and Krishan Kent, the Chairman of the Sweden Seafood Association says:

“The MSC label is the most recognised sustainability label in Sweden.  The Atlantic cod are one of the most important stocks in the Swedish market.  The MSC certification for Atlantic cod is therefore crucial for a sustainable Swedish seafood category.”


Source: Press Release

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