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NZ Albacore Fisheries Assessed For MSC Eco-Standard

More fisheries carrying the Marine Stewardship Council’s “blue tick” eco-label will be further endorsement of New Zealand’s careful fisheries management, Minister of Fisheries Phil Heatley said.

Mr Heatley was commenting after the fishing industry announced that albacore tuna, hake, ling, southern blue whiting, and the Challenger scallop fishery are being assessed to see if they can carry the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) eco-label.

New Zealand’s hoki fishery already carries the MSC blue tick standard.

“With today’s announcement, we can say about a third of our landed catch either carry the MSC’s blue tick or will be undergoing the MSC certification process,” Mr Heatley said.

New Zealand manages its fisheries carefully to ensure sustainability but we need to be able to prove that to our consumers; independent eco-certification is the best way to do that.

“The Government is supporting the fishing industry to gain certification, through management assistance and planning, and through providing grants to help with the application costs of independent eco-certification.”

Mr Heatley said the government had already provided grants totalling $120,600 to the albacore tuna, hake, ling, and Challenger scallop fisheries to help meet the costs of processes and preparations involved in assessing their fisheries against the MSC standards.

Marine Stewardship Council certification is an internationally recognised scheme for assessing the sustainability of fisheries, including how sustainable the fishery is and how environmental effects are managed.

“I am proud of the reputation New Zealand fisheries have internationally for sustainable management and I look forward to the assessment process,” Mr Heatley said.

“I congratulate the fishing industry for their hard work and progress towards independent eco-certification and I can assure them of the government’s ongoing support.”