|| Atlantic Canada Sea Scallop Fishery Entered Into MSC Assessment
Full Bay Scallop Association (FBSA) in Canada has entered an Atlantic sea
scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) fishery into independent, third-party
assessment to the Marine Stewardship Council’s standard for sustainable and
well-managed fisheries. If successful, products would be eligible to display
the blue MSC ecolabel.
The FBSA fleet is comprised of approximately 55
operating vessels ranging in size from 45 to 65 feet.
About the Fishery
The fishery is based in Canadian waters in the North West Atlantic primarily in
the Bay of Fundy and Area 29, a nearby fishing zone adjacent to Nova Scotia.
Scallop beds in these areas have been commercially fished since the mid-1800s.
Total Allowable Catch (TAC) in this area in 2010-11 was 1,265 tonnes, of which
the FBSA client share is 69.5 percent. In 2009, the FBSA fleet landed 831 mt
for an approximate value of $12 million. The gear type used is Digby fishing
dredge, which is a steel cage towed along the seafloor.
The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) manages the fishery and
establishes annual catch limits, fishing areas and management measures,
including limited entry licensing, shell size and scallop meat counts based on
weight, individual transferable quotas, dockside and vessel monitoring. Every
vessel in the FBSA uses a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) while fishing. In
addition, there is 100% dockside observer weigh-out of the harvest and
submission of documents for data entry.
The season is open all year with a concentration from early June and to early
October. Fishing in Area 29 includes at-sea observer coverage developed in
collaboration with the local lobster industry to monitor any lobster bycatch.
In the Bay of Fundy, vessels can retain landed monkfish, but all winter skates
must be returned to the water with the least amount of harm. In Area 29, all
bycatch must be returned causing the least amount of harm.
The assessment will be conducted by Food Certification International, an
accredited certifier for MSC assessments. Stakeholders wishing to participate
in the assessment process may contact the certification body, specifically
Joanna Kabut, Fisheries Administrator at email@example.com.
What the fishery says
Dick Stewart, Manager of the Full Bay Scallop Association, says "the full
bay fleet is the longest standing scallop fishery in the area producing
well-known Digby scallops for restaurants and retailers across North America.
We look forward to the time we can claim MSC certification for our
Kerry Coughlin, Director of the MSC Americas Region says "we welcome the
Full Bay Scallop Association into assessment and note the arrival of
independent certifier Food Certification International as an active company in
Marine Stewardship Council