First Greenland fishery gains certification

Greenland cold water prawns have been MSC certified. Credit: Royal Greenland Greenland cold water prawns have been MSC certified. Credit: Royal Greenland

The West Greenland cold water prawn trawl fishery has become the first Greenland fishery to achieve MSC certification.

The fishery comprises an inshore and offshore fleet with a total of 21 smaller vessels and seven factory vessels. The fishery uses otter board trawls to target prawns year round in waters along the west coast from the bay of Qaqortoq in Southern Greenland to about 740 N, off Upernavik in the northern part. For 2013 the total TAC is 90,000 tonnes, of which 83,863 tonnes are allocated to the Greenland fishery.

Henrik Leth, chairman of Sustainable Fisheries Greenland says: “As we progressed towards certification, it became clear that we were involved in a demanding but also very rewarding process. We attached great importance to the fact that all parts of the fishing industry have been involved in our efforts. The experience we have gained makes me confident of being able to document sustainability – also in our other fisheries.”

Ane Hansen, fisheries minister says: “Respect for nature has been a fundamental prerequisite for survival in Greenland for centuries. Our government has introduced sustainability as a principle in fisheries legislation, which made it quite natural for me and my administration to support Sustainable Fisheries Greenland in its efforts to achieve MSC certification.”

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