VICTORIA - B.C. pink salmon is now green after the fishery became the sixth in B.C. to receive Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification as being sustainably managed.
MSC is an independent, global, non-profit organization based in London, England, with a certification program that fully complies with the United Nations guidelines for eco-certification of fisheries. MSC defines a sustainable fishery as one that:
Is sustainable for the fish population.
- Minimizes environmental impact.
- Maintains the structure, productivity, function and diversity of the ecosystem on which the fishery depends.
- Practises effective management by meeting all local, national and international laws.
- Has a management system in place to respond to changing circumstances.
The MSC certification covers all B.C. pink salmon commercial fisheries including those in the Fraser River, the inside fisheries, and those in the north, central and southern coastal waters. Pink salmon in B.C. waters are caught using seines, trolling and gillnets.
British Columbia pink salmon was exported to 26 countries in 2010 with an export value of $22.3 million. The top export markets in 2010 were United Kingdom, Belgium and New Zealand with a combined 61 per cent share.
B.C.'s chum salmon and spiny dogfish fisheries are currently also being assessed for MSC certification.
- In an average year, B.C. fishermen harvest more than 6,000 tonnes of pink salmon, with a wholesale value of more than $21 million.
- Pink salmon harvests are based on the fish's two-year spawning cycles, with odd years generally producing higher returns.
- B.C. sockeye salmon, sablefish, Pacific halibut and Pacific hake mid-water trawl are all MSC-certified.
- In 2010, over 80,000 tonnes of fish were harvested in MSC certified fisheries in British Columbia, accounting for half of all commercially harvested B.C. seafood.
- MSC-certified fisheries generate more than $100 million a year for B.C. fishermen, while value-added seafood products made from MSC-certified fisheries generate more than $300 million in wholesale value annually.
- In 2010, 100 per cent of all Albacore tuna and 64 per cent of all groundfish harvested by B.C. fishermen came from MSC-certified fisheries.
Learn More at:
The launching pad for information on B.C.'s sustainable fisheries:
Details on fishery eco-certification and the MSC process:
A summary of the first five B.C. fisheries to be awarded MSC certification:
A handy summary of species, nutritional and preparation tips for consumers:
Ministry of Agriculture
BC Wild Salmon Council
1 855 642-3551