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New conditions are imposed on it to maintain sustainable fishing certification.

The lobster industry wants to keep its sustainable certification< /p>Open in full screen mode

Lobster traps in January 2022 in Riverport, Nova Scotia, in Lunenburg County.

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While lobster fishing in Zone 34 in southern Nova Scotia opened Saturday morning, the industry will have to prove it still wants to be considered sustainable and environmentally responsible.

This fishing area, the most important in the country, will be subject to greater monitoring by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) following the discovery last January of the x27;entanglement of right whale Argo, a 42-year-old male, in the southeastern United States. This

The whale had become entangled in fishing gear coming from Nova Scotia, which overshadowed the efforts being made industry to protect these mammals.

The MSC therefore decided in October to subject the lobster fishing industry to increased surveillance. The group wants proof that the industry is serious about protecting the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

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This means that this fishery will have to demonstrate, in cooperation with the DFO, that it will strengthen its strategy to limit its impacts on right whales, Kurtis Hayne, program director in Canada for the Marine Stewardship Council, explained in an interview this week.

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A DHC-6 Twin Otter from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, landed in Moncton, New Brunswick, on May 30, 2018.

To achieve this, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Lobster Council of Canada have developed a plan for this season. In particular, there will be more aerial surveillance to identify the presence of whales and greater data collection in fishing area 33, in southern Nova Scotia.

Established in the late 1990s, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international, non-governmental, non-profit organization that encourages fishermen and their industry to adopt sustainable environmental practices.

The objective of this NGO is to find the right balance between the protection and economic exploitation of marine resources around the world.

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The blue label of Sustainable Fishing Certification from the Marine Stewardship Council.

The organization's Blue Label program lets consumers know, by locating a label on the package, that the seafood they purchase does not contribute to overfishing or ecological damage.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Lobster Council of Canada Executive Director Geoff Irvine believes the effort is worth it.

The eco-certification given by the Marine Stewardship Council is recognized by seafood consumers in international markets, he says. He therefore believes that it is profitable to invest time and money to maintain this certification.

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Geoff Irvine is Executive Director of the Lobster Council of Canada. (File photo)

Our exporters, processors and shippers [of live lobster] are telling us that they need to sell more in certain markets, particularly in Europe, said Geoff Irvine.

However, this industry representative is concerned that it will be difficult to meet certain conditions required by the Marine Stewardship Council. For example, the organization wants data on the number of catches to be collected independently.

Fisheries monitoring by third parties, independent of governments, is rather rare in the Canadian lobster industry. Fishermen have been reluctant to have video cameras on their boats, or to allow observers on board with them.

Marine Stewardship Council certification is the gold standard in the field, says Geoff Irvine.

But we know we may not be able to do that. adhere to the MSC's demands, so we are exploring other options.

A quote from Geoff Irvine, Executive Director of the Lobster Council of Canada

Kurtis Hayne, MSC's manager in Canada, is optimistic that the fisheries will be able to meet the organization's requirements. Independent monitoring can be done in all sorts of ways, and much more effectively now that technologies are more advanced, he says.

Fisheries have until 2028 to comply with the criteria and maintain their certification.

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Kurtis Hayne, Canada program director for the Marine Stewardship Council, is optimistic that the fisheries will be able to meet his organization's requirements.

In a report released November 29, the Marine Stewardship Council said 26 fisheries in Canada have been certified as sustainable by the organization.

That's 61% of Canadian fisheries, and puts Canada in the top 5 of countries that comply with this program.

More , MSC says adoption of the program has led to 152 improvements that have made fisheries more sustainable in Canada since 2008.

We determined that fisheries that are certified are continually improving, Kurtis Hayne said in an interview this week.

According to reporting by < /em>Paul Withers, CBC

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