Institute of

Baltic Sea Fisheries

German trawl fishery on western Baltic herring finally MSC certified


2nd German Baltic fishery confirms high sustainability standard.

Frische Heringe. (© Thünen-OF/A Schütz)

One of the longest Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) assessments was successfully concluded today. The trawl fishery targeting western Baltic (“Ruegen”) herring is only the second fishery allowed to carry the MSC logo, following the Eastern Baltic cod fishery. It is also the first herring fishery certified in the Baltic Sea. The assessment took almost 8 years: First the stock status was insufficient to become certified, then a management system was lacking for all parts of the distribution area. Both problems could be solved over the last years. The Thünen Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries has contributed in various ways to the assessment from the very beginning. The trawl fishery now receives significantly higher prices for their catch, even with retroactive effect from the beginning of the 2015 season, as the demand for herring with MSC label is much higher on the European market. The additional return is many times higher than the cost of certification, already in the first year. The second important fleet segment in the German Baltic herring fishery, the gill net coastal fleet, now also entered the certification assessment.

More information: MSC: Western Baltic spring spawning herring