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MSC suspends Eastern Baltic Sea cod certificates

Staff writer |
The Marine Stewardship Council has suspended certificates for all five cod fisheries in the Eastern Baltic Sea, as Baltic cod stocks no longer meet MSC requirements.

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The suspension affects cod fisheries in Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Latvia and Poland: DFPO Denmark Eastern Baltic Cod; Germany Eastern Baltic Cod; Swedish Fisherman's Producer Organization (SFPO) Eastern Baltic cod; LFA Latvia Trawl Eastern Baltic Cod; and Poland Eastern Baltic Cod.

“Unfortunately, independent assessment has found that there is no longer evidence that cod stocks in the Eastern Baltic Sea meet the requirements of the MSC Standard. We hope that this will lead to all stakeholders working together to improve the management of the fishery, so that this suspension can be lifted,” said Minna Epps, Program Director, MSC Scandinavia & the Baltic Sea Region.

It was concluded that the 2015 stock assessment for eastern Baltic cod was insufficient to provide advice on stock status or reference points, which are required for robust and appropriate long term effective management of the fisheries.

These fisheries all target the same population of cod, therefore the certification bodies responsible for certifying the fisheries must apply the same scoring for stock status.

Following an annual surveillance audit site visit for the Danish, German and Swedish fisheries, the certification bodies have concluded that all certified fisheries for eastern Baltic cod should be suspended.

The respective fisheries are working to prepare a Corrective Action Plan and have 90 days to address the issues raised by the certification bodies. If these issues are not addressed then the fisheries’ MSC certificate will be withdrawn.

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