MSC – sustainable, certified fishing
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), founded by WWF and a fisheries company, has been committed to sustainable fishing since 1997. Its seal is awarded only to those fisheries that follow these simple but effective rules.
- Fishing must be at a level at which stocks can replenish naturally. Closed seasons must be observed.
- In the case of overfished or endangered populations, catch quotas must be reduced to a level that allows stocks to recover.
- Fisheries are not permitted to in any way compromise the structure, diversity and productivity of the affected ecosystem and its species.
Close partnership with the MSC
We have supported the MSC since 2000 and were the first retailer in Switzerland to introduce MSC-certified products, including white tuna (canned), mackerel fillets (2008) and the European plaice (2009) – one of the most important species of fish used as food. We also stock MSC-certified zander from Sweden.
Tuna fish from a WWF protection project
Many tuna fish populations are currently under threat or overfished. In response, we withdrew bluefin tuna from our range in 2007 and bigeye tuna in 2008. Today, we only sell fresh tuna from populations monitored as part of a WWF protection project.
While overfishing is a problem, many of the methods used to catch the tuna are also environmentally detrimental, as they damage the seabed or lead to unwanted bycatch, that is other fish and marine life being caught unintentionally.
Handline fishing, by contrast, is an environmentally friendly method whereby a fishing line with a baited hook is lowered into the water from an anchored or small moving boat. The tuna are thus caught individually.
In conjunction with Coop, WWF and the DEG (German investment and development society), fishermen from the Philippines have initiated a project for the handline fishing of yellowfin tuna. This involves a number of communities with a fleet of around 2,200 wooden boats working together locally with the project partners. By guaranteeing long-term market access, traceability and a project structure based on partnership, the fishing communities are strengthened and their livelihood assured.