German deep-sea fishing company Doggerbank Seefischerei has been awarded MSC certification for its West Greenland halibut fishery.
Following a 13-month assessment, Doggerbank Seefischerei GmbH’s halibut fishery off the west coast of Greenland has been certified to Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) sustainable fishing standards. The assessment was carried out by a four-member evaluation team headed by Control Union Pesca Ltd. All the fisheries catching Greenland halibut in the EU are now MSC-certified and are fishing sustainably.
Doggerbank’s trawlers Mark and Gerda Maria catch Greenland halibut between June and December in west Greenland waters using trawls designed for minimal ground contact and to minimise by-catch.
‘We are delighted our Greenland halibut fishery has been awarded an MSC certificate,’ said Dr. Uwe Richter, managing director of Doggerbank Seefischerei GmbH.
‘This is recognition for our skippers’ and crews’ fishing practices in Greenlandic waters, which are environmentally friendly, using special techniques to reduce by-catch and minimise the environmental impact as well as working to a responsible management system.’
Greenland halibut is one of the most valuable fish in German deep-sea fishing. The heads and tails are frozen separately on board as there is a demand for them in Asian markets. The tender white meat is very fatty and is sold smoked in Germany.
‘The certification of our Greenland halibut fishery is an important contribution to the provision of sustainably caught fish for the processing industry and retailers, especially for the fish manufacturer Deutsche See in Bremerhaven. It works as an incentive for us to continue to work towards certifying our other fisheries in the future. In the meantime, 85% of our total catch already carries the MSC label,’ Dr. Richter said.
As part of the certification process, the company will develop a strategy to better study, observe and protect the marine ecosystem in the fishing area. Within three years, a system will be put in place to prevent fishing in sensitive habitats.
‘Doggerbank Seefischerei already received the MSC certificate for sustainable fishing for its North Sea herring fishery in 2006 as part of the Pelagic Freezer Association, making it the first German MSC-certified fishery,’ commented Karin Lüdemann, fisheries officer at the MSC in Germany.
‘We congratulate Doggerbank Seefischerei on its new MSC certification.’