Canada’s largest herring fishery, operating out of the Bay of Fundy area, has achieved certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), signifying that it is both sustainable and well-managed.
The fishery in question, the Canada 4VWX purse-seine herring fishery, is the third of its kind in Canada to earn MSC’s approval. Now, all herring products originating from purse seine vessels and processed in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick can bear the MSC blue ecolabel, informing customers of the fishery’s compliance with the certification body’s global standard.
According to MSC, the 4VWX purse seine herring fishery was able to demonstrate compliance with the three principles structuring MSC’s standard: a healthy fish stock, protection of the surrounding marine ecosystem, and effective fishery management.
It is reported that bycatch in the Atlantic Herring fishery is low, consisting mostly of herring that’s undersized, spawning, or caught after the vessel has filled to capacity. Other bycatch include spiny dogfish, redfish, mackerel, haddock, pollock, and cod. Documented bycatch of mammals in the Atlantic herring fishery has occurred, but for a long time it was difficult to determine the extent of the fishery’s impacts on sea mammals. Observer coverage was increased as a result.