PEI

Herring fisheries in P.E.I., N.S. certified by Marine Stewardship Council

Herring fisheries in P.E.I. and Nova Scotia have achieved the globally-recognized Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for sustainable fishing.

Demand for globally-recognized certification is growing in North America

The Marine Stewardship Council's ecolabel indicates a product has come from a certified sustainable fishery. (Marine Stewardship Council)
Herring fisheries in P.E.I. and Nova Scotia are the first in the world to have achieved the globally-recognized Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for sustainable fishing.

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.

Ian MacPherson, executive director of the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association, says it was hard work getting the MSC certification. (CBC)
"Last year, several of us were over in Europe, it's definitely very high-profile over there, and part of the marketing over there. North America is not quite there yet, but we're seeing a lot of trends being adopted on a worldwide basis and I think we'll see more of this moving forward."

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.

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