Dutch fishmonger chain gets MSC approval – Fishupdate.com

Dutch fishmonger chain gets MSC approval Published:  20 March, 2007

FROM today, ‘Fishes’ is the first chain of fishmongers in continental Europe to offer its customers a sustainable choice of seafood marked with the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) blue eco-label.

With seven species from fisheries that are certified to the MSC environmental standard, ‘Fishes’ has the broadest range of MSC-certified seafood in the world. The chain plans to offer more species from certified fisheries in the future.

“Sustainable fishing is needed to secure fish stocks, the marine environment and the future of the fishing sector. We consider it our responsibility to act in a forward-looking manner by sourcing sustainably caught fish, but other parties such as fisheries and governments have to play their role too,” says Bart van Olphen, owner of ‘Fishes’. His fish delicatessen company consists of four shops in Amsterdam, Laren and Utrecht. As well as its new MSC-labelled range, the company offers mostly line-caught and organically farmed fish. “We are working towards a completely environmentally responsible offer. The MSC label is our first choice for wild-caught fish and where we can’t source products with the blue label, we ask our suppliers very detailed questions about the provenance of their fish,” explains van Olphen.

To be able to use the MSC label, the company had to show independent auditors that it has systems in place that ensure fish with the MSC mark can be traced all the way back to a fishery certified as sustainable. This traceability standard is known as the MSC Chain of Custody. It gives consumers the assurance that fish labelled with the MSC mark truly is from a well-managed fishery and enables them to support sustainable fishing through their shopping decisions.

Certification of all four stores and for all seven MSC-labelled species included on-site visits by the independent auditor SGS, who checked the company’s systems and record keeping. The Chain of Custody certificate is valid for three years and the auditor will carry out annual visits to make sure that ‘Fishes’ continues to meet the MSC requirements.

Rupert Howes, Chief Executive of the MSC, comments: “We are delighted to have ‘Fishes’ in the MSC programme and hope that many more fishmongers will follow its initiative. Up to now, fish and seafood with the MSC eco-label had limited availability in the Netherlands. ‘Fishes’ gives a much broader choice to environmentally minded shoppers and we are confident that the chain’s MSC-labelled range will draw in new customers.”

The certificate that allows ‘Fishes’ to display the MSC logo on its fresh fish counters was handed over by Rupert Howes on behalf of SGS in Amsterdam today.

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