Certification of the Cornish Hake Fishery

The Cornish Hake fishery in Newlyn was the first Hake fishery in the UK to receive Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, an internationally recognised standard for sustainable fishing. Alongside voluntary increase in mesh sizes by the fishermen and a new management plan, landings increased 740% from 2008 to 2019 and saw an increase in the market value price.

“With any fishing it’s important to keep it sustainable, regardless of the product. Whatever has to be done to keep this hake fishery MSC certified here, we have to do it. Fifteen years ago, people didn’t talk about sustainability or take notice of it. Now, if we don’t have MSC on our hake here, people will stop buying it again.”

Alan Dwan, Hake Fishermen, Newlyn

“We are all very mindful that what we do ends up on people’s plates. It’s food whether on your plate at home or in a restaurant. We want it to be the best possible and everyone has to earn a fair living from it. These are our waters and this is our area so it’s a natural instinct to fish responsibly. If you’ve done it long enough, you know what you are doing.”

Antony Hosking, owner of both Stelissa and her sister ship Silver Dawn

“Being MSC certified is really important to our success and it informs the customers that we are using the best practices and fishing sustainably,”

Ryan Davey, a hake fisherman from Newlyn, Cornwall

“We are proud of how the industry has responded to the challenge of working with scientists to better understand the state of fish stocks and where action has been needed to improve stocks it has been taken. What better way to demonstrate that than going through MSC assessment.”

Paul Trebilcock, former CEO, Cornish Fish Producers Organisation

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