Sustainability Certification Achieved For Acadian Redfish, Haddock & Pollock

Gloucester, MA – To prove that their Acadian redfish, haddock and pollock fisheries meet rigorous sustainability requirements, Gloucester-based Sustainable Groundfish Association, Inc. (SGA) has achieved certification to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Fisheries Standard. This science-based standard is the world’s most credible and recognized standard for environmentally sustainable wild-caught seafood.

Kristian Kristensen of Cape Ann Seafood Exchange, a member of SGA, said: “MSC certification allows consumers to buy New England redfish, haddock and pollock with the confidence that the fisheries will continue to be operated and managed in a sustainable manner. We are committed to preserving a way of life for commercial fishermen and their families while minimizing ecosystem impact to insure these fisheries are sustainable for generations to come.”

Acadian redfish, haddock and pollock are all lesser known fish species that New England fishermen have turned to as economically viable and sustainable alternatives. The total combined commercial harvest for these fish, which are caught in the waters of the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank, was valued at more than $21 million in 2013. The redfish and pollock fisheries currently harvest less than half of their annual quotas.

Brian Perkins, MSC regional director – Americas, said: "The MSC’s vision is for oceans to be teeming with life for future generations. We are extremely pleased to see the US Acadian redfish, haddock and pollock fishery succeed in the MSC process and we hope to be their partner in creating and maintaining new markets.”

New England benefits from a concentration of certified sustainable fisheries. However, consumer awareness of the abundant sustainable seafood offerings from area sellers remains low. To address this, the MSC recently launched a campaign to educate New England consumers about identifying sustainable seafood products. MSC will take its "Good Catch!" campaign and promo video directly to consumers this month with events at Whole Foods and Big Y grocery stores, which feature MSC at their fresh fish counters, in greater Boston, Springfield and Great Barrington, as well as at Green Fest and the Quincy Farmers Market.

The independent assessment of the Acadian redfish, haddock and pollock fisheries was conducted by SAI Global Assurance Services, an accredited third-party conformity assessment body. SAI Global Assurance Services assembled a team of fishery science and policy experts to evaluate the fishery according to the three principles of the MSC Fisheries Standard: the health of the stock; the impact of fishing on the marine environment; and the management of the fishery. The MSC process is open to stakeholders and all results are peer reviewed.

Source: Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)