Icelandic cod fisheries received a Global Trust Certification, an international certification based on strict conditions which confirms responsible fishery control and sustainable use of the ocean’s resources, yesterday.
Icelandic cod. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
Managing director of Global Trust Certification Peter Marshall presented the certification to the representatives of the Icelandic fishing industry at a special ceremony in the Reykjavík Maritime Museum, a press release from the Federation of Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners states.
“This certification from a third party which meets the demands and ethics regulations of the FAO in fisheries shows that cod fishing in Iceland is well and responsibly managed. I’d like to congratulate the Icelandic fishing industry,” Marshall said, adding that Iceland could become a role model for other nations.
Minister of Fisheries Jón Bjarnason said in his speech at the ceremony that the certification is important to the Icelandic fishing industry as it has now been confirmed that it meets the market’s demands on sustainability and renewability of natural resources.
“We expect Icelandic seafood products to have easier access to important markets and that export revenue from seafood products will continue to be a vital pillar of our economy,” the minister said.
In 2009, the Icelandic fishing industry delivered ISK 209 billion (USD 1.8 billion, EUR 1.4 billion) in currency revenue to the national economy; the value of the products has increased in spite of a lower catch. Cod export accounts for 36 percent of the total value of seafood exports.
The Icelandic Fisheries Association, the main interest association of the Icelandic fish industry, took the initiative in developing the certification system in Iceland, which is based on international standards: guidelines and ethics from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN.
The goal of the project “Iceland Responsible Fisheries”, which was launched some time ago, is to reinforce the inner operations of the industry and promote Icelandic seafood products abroad. An agreement has been made with Promote Iceland on the project’s presentation and marketing.
The Irish company Global Trust Certification, an independent certification agency which holds an accreditation according to ISO standards, was asked to review the policy and execution of Icelandic cod fisheries, which resulted in the certification.