Good news just before the big cod season starts: Norwegian cod, Skrei and haddock caught within 12 nautical miles are once again MSC-certified.

Coastal fishing for cod and haddock has over the last year been in a recertification process to regain their MSC certificates. The Norwegian Fishermen's Association has had project responsibility for this certification in collaboration with the sales teams and the Norwegian Seafood Council as project partners, with DNV as the responsible certification company.

After a lengthy process, the Norwegian Fishermen's Association received final notice on Tuesday (14th November) evening that the certification process is complete. Thus, Norwegian seafood exporters can use the MSC certificate with immediate effect for Norwegian cod, including Skrei, and haddock for catches within 12 nautical miles.

- Whitefish from Norway has a strong position both with our trading partners and with consumers in Europe and the rest of the world. Despite 2022 being a record year for both cod and haddock, the MSC recertification will be positive for further strengthening the position of Norwegian cod and haddock in the future, says Christian Chramer, CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Positive news ahead of a demanding season

- We are justifiably proud of the Norwegian management of cod and haddock. These fisheries are considered to be some of the best managed in the world, being tightly regulated with well-established science, policy, and control mechanisms to guarantee optimum sustainable use of marine resources. If we had not managed to get Norwegian cod certified, which cod would then have been certified? asks Bjørn-Erik Stabell, responsible for strategy and sustainability and Key Account Manager for whitefish at the Seafood Council.

- The timing of this recertification is welcome since the 2024 Skrei season starts in January. With reduced quotas and high costs in Europe this is set to be a challenging season, says Stabell.

The MSC certification will contribute to simplified market access with important trading partners in Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, and France.

- It is good for the position of Norwegian cod, for the exporters and it will contribute positively to the local fish processors, which are cornerstone businesses along the coast, and the Norwegian coastal fisherman who are an important occupational group in a number of small local communities in Norway, concludes Stabell.

Profound importance in the markets

The United Kingdom is a large and important market for Norwegian whitefish with an established consumption of cod and haddock in both retail and hospitality sectors. In order to secure access and strengthen Norway's position and seafood relations in the market, it has been important to achieve MSC recertification for these species, also caught within 12 nautical miles, explains Victoria Braathen, Seafood Council's envoy to the UK.

We are pleased that we have regained the MSC label. We consider it a symbol that we are doing the right things. We have always felt confident that Norwegian cod fishing is conducted in a sustainable way and we spend a lot of time and energy educating Swedish consumers about this, says Charlotte Rapp, seafood envoy to Sweden.

Certification with immediate effect

- We encourage all stakeholders planning to sell cod and haddock from Wednesday, November 15th as MSC-certified, to ensure that the certificate is active and that the certificate status is noted on the final bill, says Tor Bjørklund Larsen, senior advisor at the Norwegian Fishermen's Association.