Scottish seafood businesses honoured at MSC UK Sustainable Seafood Awards

By bellmannews / October 25, 2022

A North Sea herring fishery and the Bay fish and chip shop, in Stonehaven, are celebrating after scooping prestigious sustainable seafood awards at the Marine Stewardship Council UK’s annual awards. Salmon producer Mowi Consumer Products were also recognised for their efforts in responsible fish farming, by MSC Award partners, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.

The awards, now in their 9th year, run by MSC, the world’s leading sustainable seafood ecolabel, celebrate outstanding achievements and performance in the area of sustainable fish and seafood, across the entire UK business and industry spectrum.

For the first time the awards, which took place on Thursday (October 20, 2022), and were sponsored by Seafood Scotland, were held in Scotland, at the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, in recognition of the region’s importance for sustainable fishing and the city’s strong links to the fishing industry.

George Clark, MSC UK & Ireland Programme Director, said: “It’s fantastic to come to Aberdeen for our awards this year, given the city’s historical and cultural ties to the fishing industry and the importance of sustainable seafood to Scotland’s economy. It’s particularly fitting to celebrate award wins of important Scottish sustainable seafood businesses – the Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group, the Bay in Stonehaven, and salmon brand Mowi, for their ASC award.”

This year’s award was handmade by eco homeware company Rawr Home, from crushed mussel and scallop shells, a by-product from MSC certified fisheries in Shetland which have featured in MSC’s recent Sustainable Seafood Week campaigns.

David Cameron, Lord Provost of Aberdeen, gave a video welcome to the awards, while Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, gave the keynote address, also via video.

The Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group (SPSG), which has 23 trawlers on its certificate and catches herring around the North Sea, won the MSC UK Ocean Leadership award. This was in recognition of the efforts they have gone to in conducting an industry-science data collection programme across their pelagic operations, which has been adopted at a national level by the Scottish government.

Dr Steven Mackinson, chief scientific officer for the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said: “We are thrilled to have won this award which recognises the commitment of the Scottish pelagic fishing industry in securing a sustainable future.
“The pelagic industry-science data collection programme is an excellent example of how strong collaboration between the fishing industry, and academic and government institutions can lead to more informed outcomes for stock assessments and management advice on pelagic stocks.”
The Bay, which won MSC UK Foodservice Champion of the Year jointly with the restaurant chain Rockfish, was the first UK fish and chip shop to offer its customers MSC certified sustainable Scottish haddock after the fishery was certified in 2010, making great efforts in being one of the first businesses to sell it to a consumer, within an hour of the first landing of certified fishery.
Accepting his award, Calum Richardson, owner of The Bay, said: “It’s a great honour for myself and all of Team Bay to be awarded MSC Foodservice Champion of the Year. We were the first fish and chip shop in the world to put MSC Scottish haddock on the menu many years ago. We continue to support our industry and the Scottish fishing fleet in protecting fish for the future.”

Calum holds up a portion of fish and chips
The Bay Fish and Chips after the revamp. Picture Simon Price/Firstpix