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North Sea Brown Shrimp fishery recommended for MSC-certification

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On July 18th 2017 the Final Report and Determination of the MSC-certification of the North Sea Brown Shrimp Fishery of Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands has been released on the MSC homepage (www.msc.org). The result of this report is the recommendation to the MSC to certify this fishery. This is a remarkable achievement due to the amount of nations that participate in this certification and due to the size of the fleet of more than 400 vessels.

Ten years ago, the Dutch shrimp fishery decided to start a certification process and two years later the German fishery followed suit. However, these individual attempts remained unsuccessful. In 2015 – following the scientific advice of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea – the Dutch, Danish and German shrimp fishing industries decided to start a cooperation to get MSC certified.

Trilateral management plan
The main issue to achieve MSC certification was to combine national rules and regulations into one trilateral management plan. This management plan has been implemented since 1st January 2016. About 400 fishermen are following this common management plan containing a harvest control rule, technical measures and an independent control system.

The positive recommendation was the first hurdle to overcome. And when a MSC certification is granted, the next challenge the brown shrimp fishery is facing is fulfilling the conditions that have been raised during the certification process. In this prospect, the fishermen from all three countries are looking for cooperation with all stakeholders. An independent project management and working group ensures that discussions, interpretations and adaptations of the management plan are constructive and in line with the concerns of the fishery as well as the MSC requirements.

Control and management
Through the MSC certification process the North Sea Brown Shrimp fishery has changed from a mostly unregulated to a well-controlled and managed fishery. Up to now about 90 % of the brown shrimp fishing industry is involved in the MSC certification process. The pursued target is the entry of the remaining fishermen from the participating nations as well as fishermen from Belgium and France. The future perspective is a sustainable European brown shrimp fishery under the roof of one management plan.

More information?
For questions please contact Paulien Prent at pmprent@cvo-visserij.nl or 0031 527 698 151

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