MODIFIED quote regarding MSC certification of “the first enhanced fishery”: Only applies to UK… (Dec. 2010)

First posted 02.12.2010

Today (Dec. 2, 2010) the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) issued a press release in which it hails its certification (last week) of the North Menai Strait mussel fishery (UK). Great news indeed! Last week however we had commented on the first comments made – also quoted by the referential BBC News – by James Wilson of Deepdock Ltd (one of the companies certified) who had stated: “We are all very proud in the Menai Strait to be the first enhanced fishery to achieve this benchmark certification.

My point – which would be ‘trivial’ if there was not so much riding on it (commercially, environmentally re. truly wild salmon stocks’ endangered/ESA status, in fisheries management terms; if not solely for granting the public the balanced information it deserves in the ongoing wild-vs-farmed tit-for-tat war of words) – was that this was not the first – strictly speaking – “enhanced fishery” certified by the MSC. For instance, we highlighted, Alaska’s salmon fisheries are made of many stocks, about half of which have strong components considered ‘ranched’ or ‘enhanced’ by hatchery & aquaculture production (and are thus ‘not truly wild’ [WWF quote]), something the MSC and other NGOs are well aware of….

But these facts are not that well-known and understood by many consumers worldwide, as ‘wild salmon’ is often a term associated with Alaska & BC salmon marketing (in Pacific NW & N. California, up to 80% of commercially harvested salmon would be hatchery-reliant).

This morning Mr Wilson was quoted by the MSC as saying: “We are all very proud, in the Menai Straits, to be the UK’s first enhanced fishery to achieve this benchmark certification. Note the “UK’s” addition in his statement…

All we can say is that it is sometimes worth commenting on Twitter!

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