Russia - Russian fisheries catching snow crab and halibut awarded MSC certification

Two fisheries in Russia responsible for catching snow crab and halibut have been awarded certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

Catch from the Russian Barents Sea Greenland halibut fishery and opilio trap fishery, which is sold throughout Europe, the United States, and Russia, can now bear the blue MSC label signaling that the fisheries are sustainable and well-managed. Independent certifier Lloyd’s Register conducted the detailed assessments and stakeholder consultations required for both fisheries to earn the certificate.

“Congratulations to these fisheries on achieving certification to the MSC’s globally recognized standards for sustainable fishing,” MSC Program Development Director Camiel Derichs said in a press release. “We hope that during the coming years these fisheries will continue to work with scientists and NGOs to deliver the improvements required as conditions of their ongoing certification. These include improvements to harvest strategies and data collection which will contribute to the long-term sustainability of marine ecosystems.”

The opilio trap fishery holds 70 percent of the quota for commercial snow crab in Russia’s exclusive economic zone, which has a total allowable catch of 9,840 metric tons (MT), MSC said. A part of the Association of Crab Catchers of [the Russian] North, the fishery has 12 crab-catching vessels each acquiring between five and 10 MT of snow crab per day from March to June using traps partly made from biodegradable material.

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