THREE thousand Louisiana blue crab fishermen have earned the right to tell buyers and consumers across the country that the Louisiana blue crab fishery is now MSC certified.
The independent, third-party certification body, Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), assessed the fishery against the MSC standard in a rigorous, open and transparent process that was scientifically peer reviewed and involved site visits to the fishery and outreach to stakeholder groups. During assessment, SCS identified six improvement actions the fishery must perform during the 5-year period of certification – that address harvest strategy, acquisition of additional data, by-catch and ecosystem impact – and progress will be assessed during the annual surveillance audits required by the MSC programme.
Reflecting on the achievement Randy Pausina, LDWF Assistant Secretary, said: “We are pleased to have worked so closely with members of the crab fishery and the LSPMB on this significant step forward for our industry. I would like to express my appreciation to the biologists who work at LDWF now and those who have in the past, because without the excellent management techniques that our department has implemented over the years, this certification would not be possible.”
Ewell Smith, Executive Director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, said: “MSC certification is a major, positive development for thousands of Louisiana commercial blue crab fishermen, our processors and marketers and the entire Gulf Region. MSC certification brings a new source of pride and confidence in Louisiana Seafood and it will help us assure buyers and consumers across the United States that Louisiana Seafood is sustainable.”
Kerry Coughlin, MSC Americas regional director, said: “Louisiana fishermen, families and communities have been working hard to rebuild their livelihoods after the oil spill and we are very proud that MSC certification will help in that process. By voluntarily entering the Louisiana blue crab fishery into assessment when it did, the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board showed its commitment to sustainability and preserving the livelihoods of commercial blue crab fishing.”
The fishery is managed by the state of Louisiana through its Wildlife and Fisheries Commission by the Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, Division of Marine Fisheries in active consultation with industry via the Louisiana Blue Crab Task Force.
SCS Media ContactLinda Brown | Senior Vice President
SCS Global Services To find out more, contact Linda Brown, or call 510.452.8010.