Changed MSC status for Norwegian fisheriesAn objection has been raised to the MSC re-certification of Norwegian offshore cod. Photo: Kim Hansen

Planned changes to the MSC certification of sone of Norway’s groundfish stocks are taking place, with a temporary certificate extension to 3rd May for inshore and offshore cod.

The MSC has confirmed that certification for North East Arctic haddock caught by under Norges Fiskarlag’s auspices came into effect from 26th April 2021, while its North East Arctic cod certification has been temporarily extended until 3rd May.

Previous MSC certifications included the inshore and offshore stocks of North East Arctic cod and haddock, but the decision was taken to apply for reassessment to the MSC Fishery Standard for offshore only.

From 26th April, the offshore haddock catch remains MSC certified while the inshore element is no longer part of the certificate. Both inshore and offshore cod have a certificate extension to 3rd May, due to an objection raised to the re-certification off offshore cod.

While the Independent Adjudicator decides whether to accept or reject the objection, or ask for more information, the cod fishery’s certification is being extended one week at a time.

“As the current certification for both inshore and offshore cod has been extended until 3rd May 2021, the fishery’s catch will remain MSC certified until then. It could be extended again, while the independent adjudicator reviews the objection to the offshore cod side of the fishery. If the objection is accepted, it is standard practice for the MSC to extend certification by six months,” said MSC Senior Programme Manager for the North Atlantic, Gísli Gíslason.

“The fishery decided to withdraw its inshore cod and haddock catch from MSC certification, while it works with Norway’s management agencies to find a way to reduce its bycatch of coastal cod from 5% to 2%. From the start of its MSC certification in 2011, the inshore fishery has been tasked with finding a solution to this issue, and we hope it is making some progress on this front. To ensure the outcome is entirely impartial, the MSC is independent of both the assessment and objection processes, therefore, we cannot say what the outcome will be.”

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