The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Groundfish Enterprise Allocation Council (GEAC) today announced Canada’s first redfish fishery to meet the globally recognized MSC Fishery Standard.
With this achievement, Acadian redfish (Sebastes fasciatus), also known as Atlantic redfish or ocean perch, caught in Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Division 3LN, can now be sold as MSC certified by companies with MSC Chain of Custody certificates.
Straddling Canadian and international waters, 3LN redfish has a colourful history dotted by interaction with Soviet, Cuban, South Korean, Portuguese and Spanish fleets. Overfishing in the late 1980s caused depletion that led to a moratorium being declared on directed fishing in 1998. After years of careful management, the stock recovered and the fishery was re-opened in 2010.
Managed by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), a cautious Total Allowable Catch (TAC) is established through a well tested harvest control rule that has been peer-reviewed by scientists from NAFO-member countries. This management approach has proven effective at continuing stock growth and is expected to continue to guide this fishery through long-term sustainability.
Canada holds 42.6 per cent share of the TAC, the majority of which is caught by Ocean Choice International vessels fishing on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.