Scotland is a leading nation in the international MSC programme. Scottish stocks now account for nearly five per cent of the worldwide total of MSC fisheries – while more are in the pipeline.
Welcoming the successful application to the MSC by the Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group, Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “I am delighted that West of Scotland herring has become the latest Scottish fishery to receive the prestigious MSC eco-label, demonstrating this stock is well managed and reassuring consumers that the fish is sustainably caught.
“This follows on from the outstanding achievement last month by Shetland fishermen in becoming the first fisheries of their kind anywhere in the world to receive MSC status for king scallops, brown crab and velvet crab.
“Sustainably caught, high quality and delicious – this is a combination that can help Scottish seafood position itself as a sought after and premium product. And MSC backing validates the hard work of our fishermen in supplying products that can deliver on all three.
“However, the continued overfishing of mackerel by Iceland and Faroes – and the mackerel MSC suspension that has resulted from this – is deeply worrying. Yet again this illustrates why the European Commission must take urgent and decisive action against any nation fishing unsustainably outwith international agreements.”