The SSMO has announced that MSC certification has been regained for the Brown Crab and King Scallop fisheries

The SSMO has announced that MSC certification has been regained for the Brown Crab and King Scallop fisheries: Photo: Seamus Rogers

Shetland Shellfish Management Organisation (SSMO) is pleased to announce that it has been successful in passing its annual Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification audit for the Brown Crab and King Scallop fisheries.   

The audits are carried out by independent assessors and the sustainability accreditation is the only one for these fisheries in Europe so SSMO is considered nationally to be a leader in Inshore Fisheries Management – a big achievement for a small organisation.   

This would not have been possible without the excellent scientific advice given by the NAFC Marine Centre in Scalloway. The scientists there carry out annual stock assessments upon which the SSMO Board of Directors base their decision making.   

The NAFC Marine Centre stock assessment process has been audited by peer review this year – both by Dr Oliver Tully and Dr Guillermo Martin who are based at the Marine Institute of Ireland and by Dr Mike Bell, Heriot Watt University. Both reviews were very favourable.   

SSMO Inshore Co-ordinator Carole Laignel said: “SSMO has a Licensing Policy which, like all of their other polices, is reviewed annually. New entrant licensing rounds are held depending upon stock assessment advice.   

“The directors also recently amended the licensing rules to allow new entrants in through the route of succession.  This is a process whereby a fisherman who is retiring out of the industry can add someone onto their licence and once this person has been named on the licence for a set period of time they are able to take over the vessel and the SSMO licence.

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 “This has been very successful with 15 fishermen entering through this method in the last few years and another five en route to do so this year. The route of succession is a way whereby younger entrants can get into the fishery and which also allows existing vessels to remain in the local fleet.” 

SSMO was granted the legal right to sustainably manage commercial shellfish fisheries out to the 6 nautical mile limit by the Shetland Islands Regulated Fishery (Scotland) Order 1999. The SSMO works closely with Marine Scotland and the Order requires it to keep Scottish Ministers advised of any changes to their rules and regulations. 

Source: Press Release

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Brown Crab and King Scallop fisheries pass annual MSC certification audit

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