World’s first MSC rope grown oysters

Maruto Suisan has been awarded MSC certification for its rope grown oyster fishery Photo: Maruto Suisan Maruto Suisan has been awarded MSC certification for its rope grown oyster fishery Photo: Maruto Suisan

In a world first for rope grown oysters, Maruto Suisan has achieved Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for its fishery in the Seto Inland Sea.

MSC certification was awarded to an affiliate fishery of Maruto Suisan. It grows seed oysters from Okayama Prefecture on ropes suspended from rafts in the waters of the Seto Inland Sea off the coast of Okucho. The fishery caught 1,500 tonnes of oysters in 2018, 80% of which were seeds from Okayama.

Maruto Suisan is a seafood company that processes and sells products made from oysters. Witnessing the growing demand for certified seafood in Japan, it decided to pursue MSC certification in partnership with the local producers and fisheries cooperative in Okucho.

President and representative director, Kimihiro Kokubo, said, “As a seafood company promoting oysters, we decided to pursue MSC certification as a group initiative because of our belief in the MSC program, which recognises sustainable, eco-friendly fisheries.”

Marine Stewardship Council programme director Japan, Kozo Ishii, said that demand for sustainable seafood is seeing rapid growth in Japan. “With the increasing adoption of the United Nations sustainable development goals and the sustainability focus at the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, more and more companies in Japan are committing to using sustainable seafood,” he said.

The independent, third-party assessment on the sustainability of the target species, the fishery’s environmental impact and its management system was conducted by Control Union Pesca, which verified the fishery met MSC fisheries standards.

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