Whelk fishery enters MSC programme

The Granville Bay whelk fishery has become the first whelk fishery worldwide to enter MSC certification. Photo Marine Stewardship Council The Granville Bay whelk fishery has become the first whelk fishery worldwide to enter MSC certification. Photo Marine Stewardship Council

The Granville Bay whelk fishery has become the first whelk fishery worldwide to enter Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification.

Granville Bay whelk fishery, which is managed by the Comité Régional des Pêches Maritimes de Basse Normandie (CRPM-BN), includes 72 whelk fishing vessels that use traditional trap methods and that bring in between 6,000 and 9,000 tonnes of whelk each year, sold by auction to fishmongers, fish merchants and processors.

In France, more than 75% of the entire French whelk production comes from Normandy. The greater part of fishing and production occurs between Granville and Cap de la Hague.

In the decade from 1970 to 1980, whelk consumption and production grew considerably, which caused the resource to become endangered. In 1985, the industry started to adopt a policy to restore the whelk stock.

Daniel Lefèvre, CRPM-BN chairman explains: “Thanks to intensive cooperation between the Regional Fishing Board, the Syndicat Mixte pour l’Equipement du Littoral (SMEL), IFREMER, the University of Caen and Normandie Fraîcheur Mer (NFM), we were able to improve the acquisition of biological data and define technical measures that could contribute to restoring the fishery.”

Arnaud Manner, head of Normandie Fraîcheur Mer (NFM), the association of fishing industries in Lower-Normandy, steered a pre-assessment of Granville Bay whelk fishery in 2008: “This pre-assessment allowed us to establish a more efficient application and to estimate the impact of the regulatory measures taken such as a maximum length of 12 metres for vessels, a maximum of 720 baited pots allowed per vessel, the minimum catching size of whelks, a limited fishing period and less licences granted.”
 
Laurence Mace from SMEL, responsible for the scientific monitoring of the whelk fishery, alongside the CRPM-BN, confirms that the measures show positive trends: "The number of whelk kilograms landed per trap increased from an average of just under 1kg in 2009 to nearly 1.5kg in 2013; while at the same time, the market size of whelks sold increased!”

Latest Jobs

Systems Administrator

We are looking for a Systems Administrator to join our award winning B2B media company. Read more

SG/C1/Marlab - Fisheries Advisor (IRC54392)

We are currently seeking applications for a Fisheries Advisor within Marine Scotland Science based i... Read more

Maintenance Manager

Marine Harvest Fish Feed (MHFF) is one of the newest divisions within Marine Harvest. Read more

Production Manager

Marine Harvest Fish Feed (MHFF) is one of the newest divisions within Marine Harvest. Read more

Fisheries Project Officer

The MSC operates the world’s most recognised fisheries certification and eco-labelling program. Read more

Fish Processor

An enthusiastic team player is required by Bibury Trout Farm to work in our fish shop area. Read more

View all jobs