Moves to put major seafood species on a sustainable fishing basis have passed a milestone with the certification of the first cod fishery to the Marine Stewardship Council standard.
The freezer longline Pacific cod fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska this week gained the MSC accreditation.
Cod products from this fishery will now be entitled to carry the MSC eco-label on retail packaging or menus.
Seattle-based Bering Select Seafoods Company, client for the certification, will begin deliveries of MSC-certified product later this month, with the first delivery going to Young’s Bluecrest.
Rupert Howes, MSC chief executive, said: “The dwindling of Atlantic cod stocks has divided scientists and producers for a long time. The public is increasingly concerned. Now, an independent assessment team has certified an alternative source, the Pacific cod freezer longline fishery.”
The fishery is composed of 39 vessels harvesting a total of 116,000 tonnes of Pacific cod.
The fish is marketed primarily in Europe and Japan, with additional customers in the US, Thailand and China.
Kit Davies