MSC certification

PFA holds at the moment three active MSC certificates: one for the sustainable catch of North Sea herring, one for Atlanto Scandian herring and one for blue whiting.
PFA is currently also finalizing the certification process of its North East Atlantic mackerel fishery. 

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an independent, international non-profit organisation that has developed an independent third-party certification programme for sustainable fisheries which do not overfish and maintain healthy fish stocks, have low impact on marine life, and are well managed.

MSC certification for the PFA North Sea herring fishery

Since 2006  PFA has held MSC certification for its North Sea herring fishery and this was the first major European fishery to achieve MSC certification.  Certification was renewed in 2011, which re-confirmed the healthy status of the North Sea herring stock, the moderate impacts on the ecosystem in this fishery by the PFA fleet, and the overall good management system underpinning the North Sea herring fisheries.

Early 2016 the process of recertification for PFA's North Sea herring fishery has started again, as MSC certificates have a validity of 5 years.
/media/afbeeldingen/20170417 - Acoura Marine PFA North Sea herring fishery MSC Certificate (2017-2022).pdf

MSC certification for the PFA Atlanto Scandian herring fishery

In July 2010 PFA achieved MSC certification for its Atlanto Scandian herring fishery. In January 2016 the MSC certificate for this fishery was re-assesed and renewed. The current certificate is valid up to 2 January 2021.
/media/afbeeldingen/MSC certificate PFA AS herring fishery.pdf

MSC certification for the PFA blue whiting fishery

In February 2016 PFA achieved MSC certification for its blue whiting fishery. The certificate is valid up to February 2021.


/media/afbeeldingen/MSC certificate PFA_Blue_Whiting.pdf

MSC certification for the PFA mackerel fishery

In 2009 the PFA North East Atlantic mackerel fishery was awarded MSC certification.

In April 2012 the certifier suspended all certificates of the existing MSC certified mackerel fisheries, including PFA. The suspension notice followed a few years of catches by Iceland and the Faroe Islands outside the existing scientific advice, which resulted in the breakdown of the international management agreement on the mackerel stock.
While being suspended the joint mackerel fleets of the EU and Norway, including PFA, and organized under the heading of MINSA (Mackerel Industry Northern Sustainability Alliance), started a new MSC assessment trajectory of their mackerel fisheries in 2014. On 11 May 2016 the mackerel fishery by the fleets organised under MINSA, including PFA, achieved certification. 

/media/afbeeldingen/MSC Certificate MINSA mackerel (2016-2021).pdf


PFA represents the interests of nine European freezer-trawler companies involved in pelagic fishing activities for human consumption.

Learn more about the PFA policy of sustainable and responsible production.

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