3 May 2012

The Ministry for Primary Industries is welcoming certification by the Marine Stewardship Council of southern blue whiting fisheries managed under the Quota Management System.

“This is further recognition of New Zealand’s leadership in sustainable fisheries management,” says Scott Gallacher, MPI Deputy Director-General.

The London-based Marine Stewardship Council has announced it will certify the sustainability of three New Zealand southern blue whiting trawl fisheries in sub-Antarctic waters.

This follows an in-depth investigation into sustainability of the target fish stocks, environmental impacts of fishing and the management framework for the fisheries.

The MSC certification process is widely accepted as being the most robust certification process. No objections to certification of the southern blue whiting fisheries were received.

Southern blue whiting is the third New Zealand fishery to be certified by the MSC. The New Zealand commercial fishing industry made the application.

The first New Zealand fishery to be recognised by the MSC, hoki, is in the process of being recertified for the third time. The other is the albacore tuna troll fishery.

In 2010, nearly 17,000 tonnes (processed weight) of southern blue whiting was exported, realising a value of $26M.