Faroe woe as MSC suspends North East Atlantic mackerel certification

The MSC certification for all North East Atlantic mackerel fisheries will be suspended on Saturday 2nd March 2019, reports MSC.org.

Mackerel caught on or after 2nd March 2019 cannot be sold as ‘MSC certified’ or bear the blue MSC label. The suspension affects all 4 certificates, for fisheries across 8 countries, including the Faroe Islands.

Marine Stewardship Council writes that “the suspension comes after the mackerel stock in the northeast Atlantic dropped below a precautionary threshold level, while catches remain far higher than advised by scientists.”

Camiel Derichs, Europe Director for the MSC explains: “This news will be a disappointment for the fishermen as well as for mackerel loving consumers. However, factors including declining stocks, quotas set above new scientific advice and poor recruitment have combined to mean that the fisheries no longer meet the MSC’s requirements. That said, I am confident that the fisheries and other stakeholders involved will deliver a plan to improve the situation. There is already work underway to review the way mackerel stocks are assessed. The fisheries have confirmed that they will work with management authorities to, as appropriate, adopt measures enabling recovery of the stock. If successful, that may enable reinstatement of the MSC certificates by the certification bodies.”

Author: Jens Hákun Leo