Small pelagic fisheries and responsible sourcing


MSC recently publicized a briefing on small pelagic fisheries and the importance of certification – read the briefing here.

Small pelagic fisheries – or forage fisheries – often target species known as low trophic level species close to the bottom of the marine food chain. In Europe, they include ‘forage fish’ such as sandeel, sprat, Norway pout, herring, and capelin but also invertebrate species such as krill.

Due to their population biology and life history traits (fast growing, highly productive and short lived) these species are resilient to fishing pressures if catches are well-managed.

In Europe, small pelagic fisheries used for fishmeal and fish oil production are well-managed, based on scientific advice from ICES,  and they are MSC or MarinTrust certified or in process to become certified.

More information on sustainability and responsible sourcing here.