World’s largest wild scallop fishery enters MSC full assessment process

17 Mar 2010
The US Atlantic sea scallop dredge fishery is entering full MSC assessment

The US Atlantic sea scallop dredge fishery is entering full MSC assessment

The US Atlantic sea scallop dredge fishery is entering full assessment in the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) certification program.

According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, 2008 scallop landings were 24,280 metric tonnes (53.5 million lbs.) making the US Atlantic sea scallop fishery (which operates in the exclusive economic zone of the United States of America offshore from Maine to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina) the world’s largest scallop fishery by market value. The commercial fishery is conducted year round, primarily using New Bedford style scallop dredges. The scallops are shucked on board and their main markets are the US and member states of the European Union.

Acting under the legislation and policy directives of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the New England Fisheries Management Council (NEFMC) is responsible for management of the fishery in cooperation with the Mid Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (MAFMC). Individual members of the American Scallop Association – Atlantic Capes Fisheries, Seatrade International, Eastern Fisheries, Oceans Alive Seafood, Raw Seafood, Northern Wind, Marlees, American Seafood, Marder Trawling, Hygrade Ocean Products and Chesapeake Bay Packing – are the clients for this assessment.

“Operating sustainably and seeking MSC certification is the right thing to do not only for us, but certainly for the people behind us who will run our companies in the future,” said Ross Paasche, president of the American Scallop Association. “Down the road it will be the minimum threshold for global buyers, products will need a mark of some sort and we clearly see the MSC as the authority when it comes to certification as a sustainable fishery.”

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