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FOLLOWING the successful certification of some of Norway’s saithe, cod and haddock fisheries, the Norwegian Seafood Export Council has entered the North East Arctic cold water prawn fishery into assessment for MSC certification.

The fishery will be assessed against the MSC standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries, and, if successful, products from the fishery will be eligible to carry the MSC ecolabel.

The fishery takes place all year around along the Norwegian coastline, up near Svalbard and in the Barents Sea where both inshore vessels and large ocean-going vessels, using trawl nets, catch around 20,000 tonnes annually. The stock is shared with other nations but the Norwegian fleet, which comprises 89 vessels, catches around ninety per cent of the total catch. Europe is the main market for Norwegian cold water prawns where both fresh and frozen prawns are sold in Sweden, Great Britain, Denmark, Finland, Italy and France.

“Third party certification against MSC standard is very important for positioning seafood from Norway as sustainably harvested. When we now enter the certification process for Norwegian prawns we will soon have a new tool available in our marketing. At the same time we strengthen our position as the seafood nation with the largest number of fisheries certified against the MSC standard,” says Ove Johansen, Marketing Manager, prawns for the Norwegian Seafood Export Council.

Camiel Derichs, Deputy Director Europe for the MSC says: “Cold water prawns are an important commodity in the global seafood market place, and we observe growing demand for MSC certified seafood in many markets. We appreciate the Norwegian North East Arctic cold water prawn fishery’s commitment to sustainability, and hope that the fishery will successfully complete the assessment against the MSC standard”.

The independent MSC accredited certifier Det Norske Veritas AS (DNV) will oversee this full assessment and is now in the process of contacting organisations and individuals with an interest in the fishery. Stakeholders wishing to provide comments or information to the assessment should contact Sandhya Chaudhury on +47 55 94 36 00 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Norwegian saithe, mackerel and herring fisheries, as well as the cod and haddock fisheries beyond 12 nautical miles of the Norwegian coast, have already received MSC certification. The cod and haddock fisheries within 12 nautical miles of the Norwegian coast are in the process of being certified to MSC standards. On completion of this process, all the major Norwegian commercial fisheries will be environmentally certified.

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