Seafood exporters’ initiative to obtain MSC certification

For shrimps, cuttlefish, squid found off Kerala coast

May 16, 2019 11:06 pm | Updated 11:07 pm IST - Kochi

Marine Stewardship Council certified catch such as squid (in picture) fetches a premium as customers across the globe demand catch from sustainable fisheries.

Marine Stewardship Council certified catch such as squid (in picture) fetches a premium as customers across the globe demand catch from sustainable fisheries.

The Kerala Forum for Crustacean and Cephalopod Sustainability (KFCCS) has launched an effort to obtain Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for the Flowertailed and Karikkadi varieties of shrimps, Pharaoh cuttlefish, Indian squid, and Ocellate octopus found off the coast of Kerala.

The KFCCS, an initiative of seafood exporters in the State, is associated with the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, All Kerala Fishing Boat Owners Association, Marine Products Export Development Authority, Export Inspection Agency, and the World Wildlife Fund.

At the centre of the MSC certification is sustainability. Obtaining the certification, open to wild fisheries - marine and freshwater, is voluntary and covers most types of fish and shellfish.

The MSC certified catch fetches a premium as more and more customers across the globe demand catch from sustainable fisheries, said a senior scientist at the CMFRI.

The forum expects to obtain MSC certification for the five species by 2024, said A. J. Tharakan, chairman of the Ocean Catch Committee of Seafood Exporters’ Association. Seafood industry sources said that bulk of Kerala seafood export comprised shrimps, cuttlefish, and squid and accounted for about ₹4,000 to ₹4,200 crore worth of business annually.

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