The Gulf of Mexico menhaden fishery has been certified as sustainable against Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standards, allowing all fishmeal and fish oil produced derived from Gulf menhaden to carry the MSC’s iconic blue logo.
‘The Marine Stewardship Council is a global icon in seafood sustainability, and fisheries that are MSC certified are recognised as some of the best managed in the world,’ said Bret Scholtes, CEO of Omega Protein. ‘Our fisheries have long operated according to sustainable practices, and this certification is just the latest recognition of it.’
The certification was made official following the successful resolution of all appeals at the end of the certification process. Independent auditor SAI Global, which conducted the certification assessment, had initially recommended the fishery for certification in June.
SAI Global evaluated the fishery, whose main participants are Omega Protein and Daybrook Fisheries, against 28 standards across three categories: sustainability of the stock, efforts to minimise environmental impacts, and effective management. Certified fisheries must achieve a minimum score of 60 out of 100 in all 28 indicators, and an average of 80 in each category.
‘We’re proud of the work that our industry has done to operate a healthy and sustainable fishery,’ said Scott Herbert, Sr., Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Daybrook Fisheries.
‘Consumers can now trust that all Gulf menhaden products meet the high management and conservation standards of the Marine Stewardship Council.’
The Gulf menhaden fishery is the second menhaden fishery to achieve MSC certification. In September, Omega Protein’s Atlantic menhaden fishery was certified sustainable after completing a similarly rigorous process.
Omega Protein Corporation is a century-old nutritional product company that operates seven manufacturing facilities located in the United States, Canada and Europe. The company also has a long-term supply contract with Ocean Harvesters, which owns 30 vessels which harvest menhaden, a fish found in abundance off the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.