North Sea herring fishery recertified as 'sustainable'

Scotland's North Sea herring stocks are now above target levels

Related Stories

Scotland's North Sea herring fishery has been given a stamp of approval by the Marine Stewardship Council.

The organisation, which examines fish stocks every five years, has renewed the existing sustainability certificate.

It means products can be marked with the MSC ecolabel logo.

That proves no long-term damage is being inflicted on the fishery which is worth £20m-a-year to the country's economy.

The Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group (SPSG) was first certified in 2008.

The new award comes at a time when herring stocks are at the centre of an international dispute, with the Faroe Islands facing sanctions for overfishing after vastly increasing catches.

The certificate was presented to SPSG Chairman John Goodlad at a ceremony on the Peterhead herring vessel Lunar Bow, by Scottish government Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead and MSC Chief Executive Rupert Howes.

'Pivotal moment'

Mr Goodlad said: "This recertification today is an important milestone for the North Sea herring fishery and is a clear demonstration of SPSG's sustainability credentials."

This year 44,000 tonnes will be caught in a fishery that is shared with several North Sea European countries.

The herring caught is processed in Scotland to produce a range of high quality products, including fresh fish fillets, marinades and kippers.

Much of it is exported to prime markets all over Europe including Germany and the Netherlands.

Mr Howes said herring stocks are "healthy and well above target level", adding: "The SPSG have been pioneers in sustainable fishing and this is a pivotal moment for Scottish herring fishing."

As well as the North Sea herring fishery, MSC certification was achieved for the western mackerel fishery in 2009 although it currently suspended due to the over-fishing of the stock by Iceland and the Faroes.

Certification was also achieved by the Atlanto-Scandian herring fishery in 2010 and the West of Scotland herring fishery in 2011. This means 98% of SPSG catches are now MSC certified.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Scotland stories


Features & Analysis

  • Dr Mahinder Watsa Dr Sex

    The wisecracking 90-year-old whose advice column is a cult hit

  • Payton McKinnonLeft behind

    Why do so many children die in hot cars?

  • Cooling towers at the Temelin nuclear power station, Czech Republic, 2011Nuclear links

    The EU's dependence on Russian-designed power plants

  • Tony Goldman graffiti in Wynwood.Graffiti's draw Watch

    How street art gave a Miami neighbourhood new life

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Kyoto.Falling for Kyoto

    Acclaimed writer Pico Iyer describes an enchanting first stroll through the city


  • A Royal Opera House performanceThe Travel Show Watch

    How the cast at the Royal Opera House are suited and booted for their spectacular stage shows

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.