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Producer Partner Spotlight: Scottish Seas Co-op

Created on Monday, 06 March 2017

FishWise is thrilled to announce a new producer partnership with Scottish Seas, a co-operative of Scottish fishermen operating in the northern North Sea and the West of Scotland. This represents the first producer partnership FishWise has entered with a seafood entity in the United Kingdom!

Scottish Seas fishermen are working together to bring the best of wild Scottish seafood to the world in a way that sustains their home communities and the seas they depend upon. The Scottish Seas fleet lands fish in many Scottish ports, including Peterhead, the easternmost point in Scotland and one of the busiest fishing ports in Europe.

This co-op is a joining together of three regional fish producers’ organizations (FPOs): Aberdeen FPO, Orkney FPO, and West of Scotland FPO. Orkney FPO was created in 2000, West of Scotland FPO was created in 1996, and the Aberdeen FPO was founded in 1973 and is the oldest FPO in Scotland. All these entities were created to represent the interests of the member vessels and fishermen. Currently, 65 vessels are part of Scottish Seas, representing over 200 fishermen.

The Scottish Seas fleet catches a range of North Atlantic species year-round. Two of the co-op’s top four species are certified to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard (haddock and Atlantic pollock/saithe), representing 12.7 million pounds of fish–that’s quite a boat load!

A third top species, Atlantic cod, is currently under MSC assessment, with a report released recently that preliminarily recommended the fishery for certification. If finalized, this will place nearly 60% of Scottish Seas’ portfolio under MSC certification–a number subject to even more growth with additional Scottish Seas species (plaice, hake, and whiting) and units of certification currently under MSC assessment.

Scottish Seas is working together cooperatively–not always an easy feat in the highly competitive industry–in the hopes of bringing a more recognizable identity to the fishermen and shedding light on their efforts to harvest seafood responsibly. Some of these efforts, in addition to certification, include increasing net mesh sizes beyond legal minimums (which helps protect young fish) and avoiding spawning aggregations (sensitive reproductive events) through the implementation of seasonal closed areas.

Operating in tandem with Scottish processors and global retailers to develop new products, Scottish Seas aims to conduct business in an innovative and open way, with no ambiguity about where its fish have originated when its products hit the shelves.
To learn more about this partner, please contact us. If you are interested in placing an order, please contact Polly Legendre of Polished Brands for a referral, or contact Scottish Seas directly through David Anderson (david@scottishseas.com).