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Saint-Brieuc scallops get MSC blue tick

Click on the flag for more information about France FRANCE
Friday, February 03, 2023, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

The MSC certification for scallops from the Baie de Saint-Brieuc, issued at the end of last year, has been formalised at a presentation in Saint-Quay-Portrieux.

‘We congratulate the Departmental Fisheries Committee of Côtes d’Armor on obtaining MSC certification. This recognises the efforts of fishermen over many years to preserve the resource,’ said Amélie Navarre, managing director of MSC France.

The MSC certification of Baie de Saint-Brieuc scallops has been formalised at a presentation in Saint-Quay-Portrieux. Photo: MSC

The scallop fishery is vital to the Côtes-d’Armor region and 50% of French scallop production comes from the Bay of Saint-Brieuc. The industry has taken pains to manage the resource with great care, with a regulatory framework going back almost fifty years, and this followed excessive fishing effort that at the time threatened the future of the scallop stock.

Strict measures are in place, with an October-April fishing season that closes the fishery during the spawning season. There is a maximum seasonal quota set on the basis of scientific advice, plus there are maximum daily quotas for each day’s fishing. Minimum landing sizes and a maximum ring size of 97mm are in place for the fishery.

‘This eco-label is for us a recognition of the exemplary management that has been carried out for nearly 50 years and of the efforts that the industry has made so that this emblematic fishery continues,’ said Grégory Métayer, President of the Côtes d’Armor Departmental Fisheries Committee (CDPMEM22).

‘The early awareness of fishermen, supported by studies carried out on the resource and partnerships with scientists and state services since the 1970s have made it possible to ensure the sustainability of the species, and the fishery.’

The MSC certification follows a one-year evaluation carried out by certification body Global Trust. This is the first scallop fishery in France to be certified.

The scallop fishery is vital to the Côtes-d’Armor region and 50% of French scallop production comes from the Bay of Saint-Brieuc

‘The environmental requirements of the MSC are demanding. Three scientific experts evaluated the fishery for a year on the basis of 28 criteria and more than 100 rating elements. MSC certification recognises that the scallop stock on which it operates is in good condition, that the impact of the fishery is minimised and that it is managed effectively to ensure its long-term sustainability’ said Caroline Gamblin, fisheries manager at MSC France.

A a condition of certification, the industry has thus implemented an action plan to collect additional information on certain marine ecosystems. This requires regulatory measures to be taken if necessary to limit the risks associated with fishing in maërl habitats.

‘MSC certification will therefore encourage fishermen to further improve their practices to achieve even higher levels of sustainability,’ Amélie Navarre said, commenting that this certification is a unifying project that brings together all the links in the Côtes d’Armor scallop industry as POs, primary buyers and processors are taking part in the change for a more sustainable seafood market.

She said that new opportunities should arise from this collaboration, and France is now the second largest market for MSC products.

By Quentin Bates / FiskerForum 



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