The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)  is pleased to announce that the coldwater prawn trawl fishery from West Greenland is seeking certification to the MSC environmental standard for sustainable fishing. The fishery will undergo an independent assessment to determine whether it meets the MSC requirements on stock condition, impacts on the marine environment and management systems. If the assessment result is positive coldwater prawns (Pandalus borealis) from West Greenland may carry the MSC’s internationally recognised eco-label and thus show to buyers all over the world that they come from a well-managed and sustainable fishery.
Jens K. Lyberth from the Greenland Employers’ Association, the body co-ordinating the assessment on behalf of the fishing companies, comments: “The market wants to see proof of sustainable management. Our fishery considers the MSC label a credible way of meeting this requirement and a helpful tool in securing a future for its business.”
Rupert Howes, Chief Executive of the MSC, adds: “Fishing and the seafood industry is of huge cultural and economic significance to Greenland and the MSC is delighted that the West Greenland prawn fishery has decided to enter full assessment. Global demand for independently assessed and labelled seafood continues to grow exponentially and we very much hope that this will create a range of new market opportunities for the West Greenland prawn fishery as it progresses through the assessment process.”
The fishery comprises an inshore and an offshore fleet with a total of 35 smaller vessels and 12 factory vessels. The fishery uses otter trawls to target prawns in waters around West Greenland. The total allowable catch for both West and East Greenland is 139,700 tonnes and the West Greenland coldwater prawn trawl fishery accounts for 127,300 tonnes in 2008.
After the Canadian Northern prawn and the Gulf of St Lawrence Northern shrimp fisheries, this is the third prawn fishery in the MSC programme. The third-party assessment of the West Greenland prawn fishery will be conducted by Moody Marine together with an independent team of scientific experts.