Herring fisheries in P.E.I., N.S. certified by Marine Stewardship Council
Demand for globally-recognized certification is growing in North America
Four-hundred fishermen from the Gulf Nova Scotia Herring Federation and its member associations worked to achieve the certification. They fish off the eastern part of the Northumberland Strait between the northern shore of Nova Scotia and the southeastern shore of P.E.I.
Highly valued in European markets, demand is growing for the blue MSC label on products in North America, says Ian MacPherson, executive director of the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association.
"The prominence of MSC and the shelf tags, we are starting to see more of that in our North American stores," said MacPherson.
It took a lot of hard work to achieve the certification, he said.
"The way it works is that there's the initial assessment. Typically there may be a few conditions that need to be dealt with until next assessment is done and those are worked on," said MacPherson.
"There's annual audits that will be conducted on the fishery to ensure that things don't change significantly and that commitments that have been made have been kept. So it's I think a good check-and-balance system."
MacPherson expects the certification will help bolster existing herring markets and open doors to new ones.