US Atlantic Scup Fishery Achieves MSC Certification

New domestic whitefish species certified to the MSC’s international standard for sustainability

Seafreeze Ltd. logo, Lund's Fisheries logo and SCS logo beside an overhead image of a ship with the Marine Stewardship Council logo
WASHINGTON, D.C.,

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) today announced that the Atlantic Scup (Stenotomus chrysops) bottom trawl fishery has achieved MSC certification for sustainable fishing practices. The MSC Fisheries Standard is a globally recognized standard used to assess if a fishery is well-managed, and reflects the most up-to-date understanding of internationally accepted fisheries science and management. The MSC certificate for scup is jointly held by commercial fishing operations Lund’s Fisheries, Inc. and Seafreeze, Ltd.

The Atlantic scup certification follows a rigorous twelve-month review carried out by a third-party assessment body, SCS Global Services. The MSC Fisheries Standard has three core principles that every certified fishery must meet including: 1) sustainable fish stocks, 2) minimizing environmental impact, and 3) effective fisheries management. As well as preserving fish stocks and the marine environment, the MSC certification process ensures that scup products can be traced to a sustainable source through required recordkeeping.

Eric Critchlow, US Director for the MSC, said: “The certification of the scup fishery will help safeguard livelihoods, seafood supplies and healthy oceans for future generations. Being a new whitefish fishery to gain MSC certification is a notable achievement and we welcome Lund’s and Seafreeze’s commitment to fisheries sustainability.”

Lund’s Fisheries principals own and operate 20 fishing vessels delivering a variety of seafood to its freezing and processing facility year-round. Other, independent vessels, from North Carolina through Maine, land scup at the company’s Cape May, NJ plant, as well. The Seafreeze, Ltd. facility in North Kingstown, RI operates three company vessels that it owns and its affiliated Seafreeze Shoreside, in Narragansett, RI, handles about 10-12 additional independent vessels delivering scup to the Kingstown location. Vessels landing with Seafreeze hail from Rhode Island, New York, and Connecticut ports.

The fishery’s strengths include a well-defined and proven governance system of national and state laws; a suite of strategic policy frameworks that are supportive of the MSC’s Principles; effective leadership within federal and state management and scientific organizations; a transparent and engaging consultation and decision-making processes; and a proven federal-state record of effective collaboration and cooperation at all levels.

Scup, which is also known as Porgy, Maiden, Fair maid, Ironsides, or Northern porgy, is a dusky brown and silver food fish found in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean, primarily between Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Scup populations are healthy and have steadily increased since the mid-1990s[1]. Scup is considered an “underutilized species” because they are low on the list of typically consumed commercially available seafoods by Americans.

Meghan Lapp, Fisheries Liaison for Seafreeze Ltd. and Seafreeze Shoreside, commenting on the economic benefits of certification to their vessels and their customers stated, “This is an exciting step forward in recognition of a sustainable, underutilized fishery. The MSC certification adds value to the fishery and this recognition helps open up new food markets for new customers.”

Wayne Reichle, President of Lund’s Fisheries, commented, “We are excited to join Seafreeze in certifying the potential for the scup fishery, along with the MSC. Lund’s has been a leader in certifying its fisheries, with scup being the fourth MSC product we offer our customers. This new certification will help us present another locally-harvested sustainable fish to the public that they may not have heard of, seen, or eaten before.”

“The successful outcome of this fishery certification highlights yet another example of robust scientific assessment, research, management, and governance of fishery resources here in the United States,” said Brian Ahlers, Client Services Manager, SCS Global Services.

About the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organization which sets globally recognized standards for sustainable fishing and the seafood supply chain. The MSC ecolabel and certification program recognizes and rewards sustainable fishing practices and is helping create a more sustainable seafood market. The MSC ecolabel on a seafood product means it comes from a wild-catch fishery which has been independently certified to the MSC’s science-based standard for sustainable fishing. Fisheries representing more than 19% of the world’s wild marine catch are engaged in its certification program, and more than 20,000 different MSC labeled products are available on shelves across the globe (figures correct as of 31 March 2021). For more information, visit msc.org or follow @MSCBlueFish on social media.

About SCS Global Services
SCS Global Services is a global leader in third-party environmental and sustainability verification, certification, auditing, testing, and standards development. Its programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in climate mitigation, green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, consumer products, and more. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, SCS Global Services has representatives and affiliate offices throughout the Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and Africa. Its broad network of auditors are experts in their fields, and the company is a trusted partner to companies, agencies, and advocacy organizations due to its dedication to quality and professionalism. SCS Global Services is a chartered Benefit Corporation, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices. For more information, visit www.scsglobalservices.com.

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Nikki Helms | Marketing Project Manager, Natural Resources
SCS Global Services
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