The MSC UK Sustainable Seafood Awards 2022 was held in Aberdeen

The MSC UK Sustainable Seafood Awards 2022 was held in Aberdeen

North Sea Herring Fishery and Cornish Sardine Fisherman Honoured in MSC UK Sustainable Seafood Awards

The Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group (SPSG), part of the client group for an MSC certified North Sea Herring fishery, won the MSC UK Ocean Leadership award this evening in recognition for the efforts they have gone to conducting an industry-science data collection programme across their pelagic operations.

From the opposite corner of the country, Cornish sardine fisherman Will Treneer, skipper of the Lyonesse, scooped the MSC UK Fishing Hero of the Year for going above and beyond in championing sustainability in the catching sector.

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For the first time the awards, which took place on October 20, 2022, and were sponsored by Seafood Scotland, were held in Scotland, at the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, in recognition of the region’s importance for sustainable fishing and the city’s strong links to the fishing industry.

Dr Steven Mackinson, chief scientific officer for the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said: “We are thrilled to have won this award, which recognises the commitment of the Scottish pelagic fishing industry in securing a sustainable future.

“The pelagic industry-science data collection programme is an excellent example of how strong collaboration between the fishing industry, and academic and government institutions can lead to more informed outcomes for stock assessments and management advice on pelagic stocks.”

Will Treneer said: “I am very honoured to receive this award. Many thanks to everyone at MSC, the Cornish Sardine Management Association and particularly my crew aboard the Cornish sardine vessel Lyonesse.”

The North Sea Herring fishery, certified since 2008 is one of the longest running certified fisheries in the UK. The SPSG has 23 trawlers on its certificate and catches herring in the mid and surface water range around the North Sea.

Since 2018, SPSG has conducted an industry-science data collection programme across their pelagic operations including the North Sea autumn spawning herring fishery. In 2020, vessels took on responsibilities under a new co-sampling scheme whereby crew collect samples that are analysed by Marine Scotland and used to submit data on age, sex and maturity of pelagic fish to ICES stock assessments.

From January 2022, the co-sampling scheme has replaced onshore sampling by Marine Scotland and been adopted under Scotland’s national sampling programme to become the sole mechanism for collecting biological data on the catches of pelagic fish by the Scottish fleet.

The Cornish sardine fishery, which was certified in 2015 consists of fifteen vessels under fifteen metres in length which fish out of Newlyn, Mevagissey, Falmouth and Plymouth. Will, who is one of the younger skippers in the fleet, is currently trialling the Cefas Clean Catch app, that will automate the collection of catch data including reporting interactions with sea birds.

The MSC UK Sustainable Seafood Awards 2022 was held in Aberdeen

Katie Keay, Senior Fisheries Outreach Manager, who presented the two awards, said: “Both the SPSG and Will Treneer are worthy winners of our fishing industry awards this year.

“Will Treneer is building a reputation as one of the best fishermen in Cornwall and is at the forefront of innovation at the sardine fishery, showing leadership and a strong commitment to sustainable fishing.

“The SPSG’s sampling programme is truly an example of Ocean Leadership and contributes to the sustainability of the fishery. It demonstrates co-management in practice that not only aligns with the existing national sampling programme but is also of use to scientists at an international level.”

This year’s award was handmade by eco homeware company Rawr from crushed mussel and scallop shells, a byproduct from MSC certified fisheries in Shetland which have featured in recent MSC Sustainable Seafood Week campaigns.

David Cameron, Lord Provost of Aberdeen, gave a video welcome to the awards while Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, gave the keynote address also via video.

MSC UK ambassador, acclaimed restaurateur, chef and author, Mitch Tonks, was on the expert judging panel along with chef CJ Jackson, formerly of the Billingsgate Seafood School, Marcus Coleman chief executive of Seafish,  Dr Eleanor Adamson, Fisheries Programme Manager at the Fishmongers’ Company and Dr Bryce Stewart from the University of York.

The MSC UK Awards celebrate outstanding achievements and performance in the area of sustainable fish and seafood, across the entire UK business and industry spectrum.

Full list of winners in MSC UK awards 2022

MSC UK Supermarket of the Year 2022


MSC UK Mid-size Store Retailer of the Year 2022


MSC UK Fish Counter of the Year 2022

Waitrose & Partners

MSC UK Retail Supplier of the Year 2022

Lovering Foods

MSC UK Frozen Brand of the Year

Birds Eye

MSC UK Marketing Champion of the Year 2022

Waitrose & Partners

MSC UK Social Media Hero of the Year 2022

Fish and Chips at Weston Grove

MSC UK Foodservice Wholesaler of the Year 2022

Brakes and M&J

MSC UK Fresh Fish Foodservice Supplier of the Year 2022

Direct Seafoods

MSC UK Foodservice Champion of the Year 2022

The Bay

MSC UK Foodservice Champion of the Year 2022


MSC UK Product of the Year 2022

Hook, Line and Sinker Cornish Sardines with Mediterranean Marinade

MSC UK Ocean Leadership Award 2022

Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group

MSC UK Fishing Hero of the Year 2022

Will Treneer, Cornish Sardine fishery

MSC UK Newcomer of the Year 2022

Mindful Chef

MSC UK Online Brand of the Year 2022


ASC UK Retailer of the Year


ASC UK Retail Supplier of the Year


Source: Press Release

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MSC UK Sustainable Seafood Awards 2022 Winners Announced

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