Greenland halibut certified as sustainable

07 Nov 2017
Iceland is pursuing MSC certification for its fisheries through a unique arrangement with Iceland Sustainable Fisheries (ISF)

Iceland is pursuing MSC certification for its fisheries through a unique arrangement with Iceland Sustainable Fisheries (ISF)

Greenland’s halibut has been Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified as a sustainable and well-managed fishery.

Iceland is pursuing MSC certification for its fisheries through a unique arrangement with Iceland Sustainable Fisheries (ISF), with the aim of expanding into new markets.

“This is the second flatfish fishery which ISF has certified, with the first one being plaice,” said Kristinn Hjálmarsson, project manager at ISF.

“The fishery completed assessment in the Icelandic economic zone but ISF needs to do further work to complete the certification of the component of the fishery which takes place in the east Greenland economic zone.”

In Europe, the main market for Greenland halibut is in France but it is exported across the EU, including the UK.

But the main markets for the Greenland halibut are in the Far East with more than half of the total catch going to Japan, China, Hong Kong and Vietnam, where the fish is popular raw in sushi and sashimi.

The MSC said that sustainability engagement is growing in Asia, in China and Japan, is growing, so certification of the fishery may be a smart move.

ISF was founded in 2012 by companies engaged mainly export sales companies of Icelandic fish products. Products that originate from one of ISF certified fisheries need to be sold through one of the ISF members to become eligible to carry the MSC logo and sold as MSC certified.

The organisation has currently 55 members who are involved in catching, processing and sales.