10 Indian marine products identified for MSC certification

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Kochi, April 6 (IANS) A high-level expert panel, which met here on Friday, has identified 10 India marine products — including fish, crabs, shrimps and lobsters — for securing eco-labelling certification of London’s Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), an official said.

The MSC sets standards for sustainable fishing.

These marine products have been identified for the eco-labelling in view of their commercial value in overseas markets.

The panel, which met at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) here, comprised representatives of the MSC, CMFRI and the World Wildlife Fund-India (WWF). It discussed the MSC certification process and agreed that unanimous efforts are required to implement fishery improvement plans to secure the eco-labelling certification.

“Self-imposed regulations are need of the hour for maintaining sustainability of fish stocks, reducing environmental impacts and ensuring effective management of the fisheries” said Yemi Oloruntuyi, Head – Developing World Programmes of the MSC, during the panel discussion.

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She also said that maintaining sustainability of fisheries was crucial to increasing their acceptability among overseas markets, since it was becoming a risky business to sell unsustainable seafood products.

“The concept behind eco-labelling is to harness consumer power to usher in positive change in the fisheries sector. The environmental benefits of eco-labelling include improved sustainability of fish stocks, improvement of habitat and ecosystem, increased compliance with regulations and ecosystem-based management,” Oloruntuyi pointed out.

The list of 10 marine products, includes blue swimming crab caught in gillnet from Mandapam, Tamil Nadu; shrimp by trawl, red ring shrimp by trawl, cuttlefish by trawl and squid by trawl — all from Kollam; flower shrimp by trawl from Mandapam; lobster by trap from Nagercoil and Kanyakumari, skipjack tuna by hook and line from Lakshadweep; and Japanese threadfin bream by trawl from the southwest coast.

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