The Faroese Fishery for Icelandic Capelin achieves Marine Stewardship Certification (MSC) certification

The Faroese Fishery for Icelandic Capelin achieves Marine Stewardship Certification (MSC) certification

The Faroese Pelagic Organization (FPO) Icelandic Capelin Fishery yesterday achieved certification to the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) globally recognized standard for sustainable fishing. 

Since 2017, the Icelandic Sustainable Fisheries (ISF) group’s MSC certification covered its quota of Icelandic Capelin. Now the new certificate also makes the Faroese quota share of the Icelandic Capelin Fishery MSC certified.  

The fishery has had an effective coastal states agreement for over 20 years. The total allowable catch (TAC) for the fishery is set trilaterally between Iceland, Norway, and Greenland and 5% of the Icelandic quota is being transferred to the Faroe Islands in a bilateral quota exchange. 

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The certification follows a rigorous and independent review that verified the fishery’s sustainability to the global science-based standard set by the MSC.  From the initial assessment, the fishery attained a score of 80 or more against each of the MSC Fisheries Standard’s performance indicators and did not score less than 60. This makes it a high preforming fishery, and there are no current conditions set for this fishery.   

Capelin has a key role in the ecosystem food chain and many groundfish species feed on capelin at some stage in their life. As a result, in 2015 the coastal states agreed upon a revised precautionary harvest control rule to ensure the fishery leaves enough mature capelin to spawn and for feed for the wider ecosystem.   

As well as safeguarding fish stocks and the marine environment, the fishery will now be able to sell MSC labelled capelin products to demanding overseas markets. Capelin is an important ingredient for fish meal but is also exported for consumption in Asia and Eastern Europe.  

Recently the Norwegian fishery client has signed an agreement of certificate sharing with ISF, making Icelandic Capelin landed in Norway MSC-certified as well. As a result of both the Norwegian and the Faroese part of the Icelandic Capelin quota being MSC-certified, the total supply of Icelandic MSC-certified capelin is set to increase by up to 130,000 tons for the 2022 fishing season.

Jógvan Jespersen the managing Director at Faroese Pelagic Organization says: “With this investment we are meeting both today’s and future demand for MSC certified seafood. It also demonstrates that our fishery achieves best global practice. 

Gisli Gislason, the MSC Program Director North Atlantic says:   ”The Faroe Pelagic Organization achieved their first certificate on AS herring in 2010, so they have been a fishery client in the MSC program for over a decade. We welcome the continuous commitment to the MSC program.” 

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Faroese Fishery for Icelandic Capelin achieves MSC certification

by editor time to read: 5 min