Dogfish, Squalus acanthias, caught during a trawl survey. (Photo Credit: John Wallace, NOAA/NMFS/NWFSC/FRAMD)
MSC certification for Atlantic spiny dogfish expands
Thursday, February 28, 2013, 04:10 (GMT + 9)
Following the success of the certification of the US east coast North Atlantic fishery for spiny dogfish to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard as a sustainable and well-managed fishery in August, 2012, the fishery has expanded the scope of certification to cover the remaining offshore areas of five states in the region: Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.
The fishery was entered into the MSC programme by the Sustainable Fisheries Association (SFA) and all products from this fishery landed in state and federal waters under Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) management are now eligible to carry the MSC ecolabel.
Attorney John F Whiteside, Jr, speaking on behalf of the Sustainable Fisheries Association, said: “We are proud to build on the success of the original assessment of the US Atlantic spiny dogfish fishery as a well-managed and sustainable fishery and have expanded the scope of the certification to include all states in the spiny dogfish fishery management plan. The credible and transparent MSC certification process confirms to our buyers that the rigorous requirements to become sustainably certified have been met or exceeded for this entire fishery.”
Maryland State Senator Richard Colburn states, “This designation bodes well for the Atlantic spiny dogfish as it demonstrates that this fishery is in good shape."
Kerry Coughlin, MSC Regional Director, Americas, said: “The expansion of the U.S. east coast North Atlantic fishery for spiny dogfish to include the full region from Maine to North Carolina speaks of the strength of the fishery and commitment to provide markets with MSC certified seafood. We welcome the addition of harvests from the waters of the five states to the original certification as the fishery has demonstrated that it is sustainable and well-managed in the entire region.”
About the US Atlantic spiny dogfish fishery
The US east coast North Atlantic fishery for spiny dogfish operates year round in federal and state waters off the US East Coast from Maine to North Carolina and uses three gear types: gillnet, longline, and otter trawl. In 2009, landings from all three gear types were approximately 3,300 tonnes, with gillnet accounting for approximately two-thirds of the total.
Due to the strong recovery of the stock in recent years following the success of management measures such as low annual catch quotas and trip limits, fishery managers have been able to increase the allowable commercial catch. In the fishing year 2012-13, the limit is 16,101 tonnes. The primary commercial market is the European Union (EU).