Dutch rod and line sea bass fishery enters sustainability assessment process
THE Dutch Organization of Professional Rod and Line Fishermen (VBHL) have entered full assessment for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification.
The VBHL rod and line sea bass fishery will be assessed against the MSC standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries. This is the latest step in fulfilling the Dutch demersal fleet’s 2008 commitment to enter all their fisheries in the MSC programme by 2012.
The Dutch professional rod and line fishery for sea bass is a relatively new fishery. It developed from a practice where recreational fishers sold part of their catches. In 2005 the Dutch Government banned the sale of fish caught with unregistered fishing vessels amidst complaints of high unofficial landings from recreational fishers.
The fishing fleet operated by VBHL members consist of 19 small (under 10 m) fishing boats. They fish mainly in the daytime, around 70 miles out at sea and the boats normally make one-day fishing trips. On board, fishing is carried out with a fishing rod. The boats are normally crewed with two or three fishers and catch around 100 tons per year.
Imre Schep, chairman a.i. of the VBHL Netherlands says: “By embarking on the MSC journey and working to meet the sustainability criteria, we hope to be able to contribute in a more structured way to the management of the fishery. Increasingly, awareness is on the rise both in the fishing industry and among consumers, resulting in a balance between supply and demand. If successful, we also expect a better and more stable price for our products and hope that it will influence other fisheries to follow in our footsteps. The MSC has set a compelling vision and has inspired us to be part of this drive towards sustainability.”
Karin Fredrikze of MSC Netherlands says: “I’m delighted to welcome the VBHL fishery into assessment. If successful, this fishery not only demonstrates that it is a sustainable, well-managed fishery, but can also supply an increasing demand for fresh seafood by the foodservice sector.”
Accredited certification company SGS Nederland B.V. will carry out the independent, third-party assessment. All interested stakeholders are encouraged to contact Mr Ing. Sander Buijs on +31 612 965 272 or email