Baltic herring sprat MSC

Central and Eastern Baltic Sea Herring and Sprat fisheries have received MSC Certification

Fishing for herring and sprat in the central and eastern Baltic has been certified as sustainable and is now part of the MSC program.

Both fisheries meet the stringent requirements of the MSC standard, which means that the stocks are viable and that the fishing methods have only a minimal impact on the marine environment.

“It feels good to finally be in port with the certification. We have been through a long and very thorough assessment where we have collected data and scientific basis to show that we live up to the MSC standard,” says Esben Sverdrup-Jensen, CEO of the Danish Pelagic Producer Organisation.

The Director of Denmark Fisheries Association agrees:

“Danish fishing is sustainable, and most of the fishery is MSC certified. The fact that there is now another fish in the green family is good news for both the fishermen and for our waters and fish,” says Svend-Erik Andersen.

Fishing for herring and sprat is primarily carried out by float trawl and seines, there is no impact on the seabed and only very small by-catches of other fish, birds or marine mammals. However, there are special requirements for the fishery to demonstrate that no harbour porposie are caught as the harbour porpoise is severely threatened in some of the areas where the fishery takes place.

“We are incredibly excited to include this fishery in our program. Both because it now meets our sustainability requirements and because it shows that it is possible to fish sustainably even in an area as pressurized as the Baltic Sea,” says Ole Schmidt, Country Manager for MSC in Denmark. 

The fisheries are especially important for Swedish fishermen, but it also plays an important role in Denmark, not least because most of the catch is landed in Danish ports. Here, the fish are processed in Danish factories in Denmark, where they become fishmeal, for example in  aquaculture feeds..

All fisheries that become MSC certified are sustainable, and requirements are made for stock viability, the impact of the fishery on the environment as well as the management. 

Furthermore, there are often built-in requirements for further improvements, which is also the case here, where is a requirement for enhanced reporting of catch quantities.

Source: MSC Denmark

Central & Eastern Baltic Herring and Sprat Fisheries get MSC Cert

by editor time to read: 5 min