Swedish freshwater fishery recertified

The Swedish small-scale pike-perch fishery has been successfully re-assessed against the MSC environmental standard.

The fishery was the world’s first freshwater fishery and the first Swedish fishery to become MSC certified in 2006. Thirty fishermen work on Lake Hjälmaren, the fourth biggest water reserve in the country of over 100,000 lakes.

"We are very pleased to once again be able to mark our fish with the MSC ecolabel which will give us a better price on the market. The price has already increased significantly since last week," says Anders Eriksson, 17th generation of pike-perch fishers in Lake Hjälmaren.

The fishers employ traps during the warm months and apply set nets under the ice in the winter. Both are stationary, low-impact fishing gears which catch 150 to 200 tonnes of pike-perch per year. Lake Hjälmaren’s main spawning and nursery areas are well known and are closed during the spawning season.

Pike-perch, also known as zander, are pelagic fish inhabiting lakes and rivers in north and central Europe. They are fast predators and grow live over 20 years and grow to 20kg. The flesh of the fish is white, juicy and tender and contains little fat for the healthy and sustainably aware consumer. Pike-perch is mainly sold fresh to Germany, Austria and France.

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