First Canadian Fishery Earns Marine Stewardship Council Certification

    One of the world's largest coldwater shrimp fisheries now certified as

    SEATTLE, Aug. 18 /CNW/ - The Canadian northern prawn trawl fishery has
now been certified to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as a sustainable
and well managed fishery. It is the first Canadian fishery to earn MSC
certification, and the northern prawn will be the first Canadian wild-caught
seafood eligible to bear the blue MSC eco-label.
    With an annual catch of more than 177.7 million pounds (80.6 million
kg.), the Canadian northern prawn trawl fishery is now the largest
MSC-certified coldwater shrimp fishery in the world. The primary market for
this fishery is the United Kingdom, with other major markets including
continental Europe, the United States and other international markets. As a
coldwater shrimp, the northern prawn (Pandalus borealis), is smaller than
tropical shrimp but is well known for its sweet, highly flavorful meat.
    Derek Butler, executive director of the Association of Seafood Producers,
which holds the MSC certification for this fishery, said, "I want to
compliment our Member-Producers, MSC and other stakeholders for working
together to ensure this achievement. I am proud of their work and this
certification, particularly given what it represents for this fishery in terms
of sustainability, viability and market positioning."
    "The Marine Stewardship Council extends hearty congratulations to the
Canadian northern prawn trawl fishery for this achievement," said Brad Ack,
regional director for MSC Americas. "This is a notable milestone, as northern
prawns are the first Canadian fishery to gain MSC certification, and we are
looking forward to others following. Seafood buyers around the world can now
add one of the largest wild shrimp fisheries to their 'buy list' of fisheries
that have MSC's independent, third-party assurance of sustainability."
    Inge van den Berg, vice president of public affairs and investor
relations of Loblaw Companies Limited, Canada's largest food retailer, said,
"Canadians are increasingly aware of and concerned about buying seafood that
has been responsibly fished using sustainable fishing methods. We proudly
announced offering MSC-certified fish in our stores earlier this summer and
will have 15 MSC-certified private label seafood items by year end. We are
committed to and look forward to further expanding our offerings as more
fisheries, like the Canadian northern prawn trawl fishery, become
    The fishery is managed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) with numerous
management measures to ensure a well-managed fishery. For example, vessels in
the fishery utilize otter trawls fitted with Nordmore separator grates which
ensure reduced by catch as fish pass through the grate and escape from the
trawl. The fishery runs from mid-spring to early fall. Raw material is landed
fresh to processing facilities around the province of Newfoundland and
Labrador, where it is produced in single frozen, cooked and peeled format.
    The Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) represents industry producers
Barry Group Inc., Fogo Island Co-Op Society Ltd., Notre Dame Seafoods Inc., Nu
Sea Products Inc. (BGI), Ocean Choice International L.P., Northern Shrimp Ltd
(OCI) and St. Anthony Seafoods Limited Partnership (Clearwater). These
companies all hold MSC Chain of Custody certification, meaning that consumers
will soon be able to identify sustainable Canadian northern prawn products by
the blue MSC eco-label on their packages-and that these products will be fully
traceable through the supply chain to the MSC-certified fishery.
    The fishery's assessment took approximately 22 months to complete and was
conducted by independent certifier Moody Marine Ltd.

    About Marine Stewardship Council (MSC):
    The MSC is an international non-profit organization that was set up in
1997 to promote solutions to the problem of overfishing. The MSC runs the only
widely recognized environmental certification and eco-labeling program for
wild capture fisheries. It is the only seafood eco-label that is consistent
with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental
Standards and UN FAO guidelines for fisheries certification. The FAO
"Guidelines for the Eco-labeling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine
Capture Fisheries" require that credible fishery certification and
eco-labeling schemes include:

    -   Objective, third-party fishery assessment utilizing scientific
    -   Transparent processes with built-in stakeholder consultation and
        objection procedures;
    -   Standards based on the sustainability of target species, ecosystems
        and management practices.

    The MSC has offices in London, Seattle, Tokyo, Sydney, The Hague,
Edinburgh and Berlin. In total, more than 120 fisheries are engaged in the MSC
program with 32 certified, 75 under assessment and another 20 to 30 in
confidential pre-assessment. Together the fisheries record annual catches of
more than 5 million tons of seafood. Of fish for human consumption, they
represent more than 42 percent of the world's wild salmon catch, 40 percent of
the world's prime whitefish catch and 18 percent of the world's lobster catch.
Worldwide, more than 1,600 seafood products resulting from the certified
fisheries bear the blue MSC eco-label. For more information, please visit

    Special Invitation:
    On the morning of Fri., Aug. 22, a reception celebrating the Canadian
northern prawn trawl fishery's certification to the MSC standard will be held
in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. Media are invited to attend.
Interviews will be available with Rupert Howes, chief executive for MSC; Derek
Butler, executive director for ASP; and other stakeholders in the fishery.
Please email Lisa Bailey at the Marine Stewardship Council (below) for
invitation details or to R.S.V.P.

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Lisa M. Bailey, Communications
Manager-Americas, Marine Stewardship Council, Seattle, WA, Email:, Phone: (206) 691-0188, ext. 104

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