FRANCE - For the first time in France, a retailer, Carrefour, is offering financial support towards a fishery’s sustainability assessment. The company will be backing the producers' organisation FROM Nord, who have entered their Eastern Channel and North Sea sole fishery for assessment to the MSC fisheries standard.
In France, this is the first time a retailer has offered its financial support to a fishery beginning an assessment.
Thierry Missonnier, director of FROM Nord, talks about this opportunity: "For several years now, FROM Nord has been committed to the MSC programme, with the certification of the North sea saithe, North East Arctic cod and haddock fisheries, and the recent evaluation begun by the Eastern Channel and North Sea herring fishery. We were thinking about beginning assessment of the sole fishery to promote its good practices when Carrefour contacted us to support our approach."
Hervé Gomichon, Director of Quality and Sustainable Development at Carrefour Group, indicated: “With strong commitments made with regard to the preservation of marine resources, Carrefour keeps contributing to the development of responsible fishing. We wished to support the commitment made by the French fishing industry in favour of sustainable and responsible fishing by sponsoring the MSC assessment of the Eastern Channel and North Sea sole fishery. If the fishery receives the MSC certification, we will be able to offer MSC-labelled French sole to our customers”.
Edouard Le Bart, MSC Country Manager for France, added: "We are delighted to see this project go ahead. The partnership between FROM Nord and Carrefour for the assessment of this fishery is the perfect illustration of what the MSC strives to promote: bringing together the industry's stakeholders, such as fishermen and retailers, to advance the common goal of sustainable fishing. The biggest step is yet to come for the fishery and the experts, who will evaluate it and decide whether it meets the requirements of our high-level environmental Standard. We wish them the best of luck!"
First French sole fishery in the MSC programme
The Eastern Channel and North Sea sole (Solea solea) is fished using 10 to 17 meter long fishing boats and trammel nets in an area located between the Belgian border and the Cherbourg tip. This artisanal fishery, supported by FROM Nord, consists of 85 fishing vessels spread over five ports in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Haute Normandie regions.
Sole is one of the most significant species for the organisation, with regards to volume (1990 tonnes in 2013), and in recent years has been the leading species in terms of value. The sole is well known for its high quality, and most landings of are sold at auction sales, with some reserved for direct sale to individuals. If the fishery meets the MSC's environmental standard, it could become the first French sole fishery to become MSC-certified.
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