French fishing company Scapêche is set to end its deep water fishing operations. Agromousquetaires, the food division of Groupement des Mousquetaires and the parent company of French fishing group Scapêche, has announced that it will gradually cease its deep water fishing operations between now and 2025.
The Intermarché-owned fishing company has been under severe pressure over its deep water fisheries from environmental groups that appear to have singled the company out as a target. As of the 1st of January 2015 the company voluntarily ended any fishing operations in water deeper than 80 metres and in 2015 deep water species accounted for 16% of the Scapêche fleet’s catch, compared to 41% in 2005.
The company has announced plans to invest €50 million in its Sustainable Fishing 2025 plan with a vertically integrated chain of supply through its processing outlets that include the Capitaine Houat fresh fish processing unit, and building on its diversification into coastal ring netters, potting vessels and longline fisheries.
The intention is to keep all of the present seagoing and shore-based staff and to maintain the same volume of catches, although where the additional fish is to come from remains a question that will have to be addressed over the coming decade.
‘Consumers are looking for quality fish at competitive prices throughout the year but are also increasingly sensitive to issues of responsible harvesting,’ said Agromousquetaires president Didier Duhaupand.
Scapêche will stop the work it has already done towards MSC certification of its deep water fishery. The company already catches MSC-certified cod, pollock and sardines, and intends to continue in consultation with NGOs, fisheries authorities and scientists to maintain best practices.
Les Mousquetaires is a major European retail chain with 3590 outlets in France, Belgium, Poland and Portugal with a total turnover of €39.70 billion in 2015 and 146,000 staff as well as working with 3041 independent business owners under its Intermarche, Netto, Bricomarché, Brico Cash, Roady and Red Pepper brands. Food division Agromousquetaires has 64 production sites and 11,000 employees in France.