Poole goes for double certification

Poole Harbour already has a keen record in sustainability Poole Harbour already has a keen record in sustainability

Poole Harbour fishermen in the UK are going for double certification under the auspices of the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) and Seafish’s Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS).

Apparently, if successful, this will be the first fishery in the world to gain certification against these two different standards at the same time.

Tom Russell, Chairman, Poole & District Fisherman’s Association (PDFA), said: “The PDFA are proud of the way the fishery has developed of the last few years. MSC and RFS certification will showcase our commitment to sustainability and responsible fishing practices.”

Certification will give the fishermen independent third-party certification for environmental sustainability of the fishery (MSC certification) and responsible operations on board fishing vessels (RFS certification).

Because the standards complement each other, the fishermen can demonstrate that they comply with both environmental sustainability credentials and high standards of crew welfare and responsible catching practices. 

The fishery already has a keen record in sustainability. It has introduced a Code of Practice for protection of sensitive features and a new byelaw by the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA), developed in conjunction with stakeholders.

This byelaw issues permits for the dredge fishery and incorporates conditions, including seasonal and temporal closures, improved data collection on fishing effort and catch rates.

In addition, the Poole Harbour fishermen, through the Poole and District Fishermen’s Association, are leading on the Poole Harbour Shellfish Project which aims to support sustainable and responsible shellfish production in the area.

Anyone who would like to contribute to the certification process is invited to contact Hugh Jones (hugh.jones@me-cert.com) or Gavin Fitzgerald (gavin.fitzgeral@me-cert.com).

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