Sept. 23, 2008
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The shrimp industry in New Brunswick is being congratulated by Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet for obtaining international certification that it has met environmental standards for being sustainable and well-managed. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) issued the certification.
"The MSC certification of our Gulf of St. Lawrence shrimp fishery ties into the first goal of our fisheries renewal framework, which calls for practices that guarantee the sustainability of our fishery resources," said Doucet.
To receive the certification, the shrimp fishery was subjected to an extensive evaluation. This included the assembling of a team of independent experts who examined the status of the fish stocks, the impact of the fishery on the marine eco-system and the effectiveness of management systems.
"The shrimp fishery is an important component of the New Brunswick fishing industry," said Michel Leger, president of the Association des crevettiers acadiens du Golfe. "To get the MSC certification is a big step forward for all shrimp harvesters in the province. It clearly shows that our fishermen abide by environmental and ecological standards, while practising their trade in a responsible manner."
Doucet commended New Brunswick's two primary shrimp processors - Island Fishermen Co-operative Association Ltd. of Lameque, and Belle Bay Products Ltd. of Caraquet - for their efforts in securing the certification. The New Brunswick government provided financial support to initiate the review.
"Our cold-water shrimp boasts being 100 per cent natural," said Doucet. "This, combined with the MSC certification, is another advantage that we can build on in marketing our high-quality shrimp product to the world."
The MSC is an international non-profit organization set up in 1997 to promote solutions to overfishing. The MSC runs the only widely recognized environmental certification and eco-labelling program for wild capture fisheries in the world.
MEDIA CONTACT: Paul Harpelle, communications, Department of Fisheries, 506-470-0494.