UK - Friend of the Sea - an eco-labelling scheme for marine capture fisheries and aquaculture - has confirmed certification of the Framgord salmon and halibut production, in the Shetland Islands.
Atlantic halibut was formerly a very important food fish, but its slow rate of population growth means that it is unable to recover quickly from overfishing, says Friend of the Sea. The fishery has largely collapsed and now it is endangered throughout its range, according to the IUCN Redlist.
"Having retailers source Atlantic halibut only from certified aquaculture production is the only way to save this species from extinction in the wild," affirms Dr Paolo Bray, Director of Friend of the Sea. "Consumers do not want to eat wild-caught species threatened of extinction."
Most Atlantic halibut is now said to be taken as bycatch by vessels fishing with bottom trawls. This fishing method has a reportedly high impact on seabed and corals and catch many small immature fish, thus reducing the reproductive potential of the halibut stocks, continues Friend of the Sea. Farming halibut, therefore, is said to take the pressure off the marine habitat.
Friend of the Sea certified also Framgord farmed Organic Salmon, Organic certification UK4. A stringent stocking density of no more than 10kg/m3 is applied and harvesting is Freedom Food approved. Framgord products carry the Friend of the Sea logo on its boxes and are out sold at UK supermarkets, French Système U, Italian Coop Italia and in the USA.
“We believe Friend of the Sea sustainability same-logo certification of wild-caught, as well as farmed products is an important and fair opportunity for aquaculture producers,” states Mr Frank Johnson, Director of Framgord Ltd.
“Friend of the Sea represents a clear, uniform and positive message to consumers, finally placing sustainable aquaculture at the same level of sustainable fisheries in the effort for marine conservation.”