London – 30th January 2008 – The ‘Gebr. de Boer’ North Sea plaice twinrig fishery managed by Gebr. De Boer Holding BV has applied for assessment under the Marine Stewardship Council standard for sustainable and well managed fisheries. If successful, the 800 tonne plaice fishery will be allowed to display the MSC eco-label on its products.
The de Boer North Sea plaice twinrig fishery isn’t the only fishery fishing for North Sea plaice: other EU member states and Dutch fishing companies exploit the same stock, however, the unit of certification (i.e. the certified fisheries) will be restricted to vessels specifically named by the client. Initially, this will be the fishing vessel – ‘Enterprise’ PD 147 but it is anticipated that this will be expanded to include a second fishing vessel ‘Annegina’ PD 43 when new fishing methods, gear and operational practices are adopted.
Ben Visser, manager of Gebr. De Boer Holding BV says: “This is a very important step towards a recovery of the north sea flat fish fleet. I hope we will be certified as soon as possible. The consumers demand for top quality sustainable seafood. We aim to provide the European market with premium quality wild catch seafood, under the well known MSC-label, starting with plaice. In a later stadium we hope to certify cod and lemon sole as well. Also we invite other north sea fishing boats to join our group and apply for MSC as well. Together, we can build up our market for sustainable wildcatch plaice fillets in Europe again, with the support of the NGO’s like WWF, etc.”
Chris Ninnes, Operations Director of the MSC says; “I am very pleased that the de Boer North Sea plaice fishery has decided to apply for full assessment under the MSC standard. This will be the first North Sea plaice fishery to be assessed for MSC certification and I am sure this development will greatly interest the 4,500 stores in the Dutch Association of Food Retail that recently pledged to sell only MSC-certified fish by 2011.”