Firm seeks 'green' accolade for fishery

A HULL company is aiming to net a national first for the cod and haddock it catches.

UK Fisheries, which has two freezer trawlers Marbella and Arctic Warrior fishing inside the Arctic Circle, is seeking a "sustainable" fishery certificate for its products.

For more than a year the vessels will come under the scrutiny of scientists who will decide how well they are operated.

The fishery is judged on numerous levels – from the type of nets used to efforts to reduce the amount of by-catch they produce.

James Simpson, from the Marine Stewardship Council, said it wasn't true that eating cod was unsustainable – it depended where they were caught.

Getting a certificate would mean consumers "can buy sustainable cod with a clean conscience."

He said: "Not all cod is unsustainable; there are sustainable sources of cod in plenty of places around the world."

He added: "There isn't enough MSC-certified fish out there to satisfy demand from the major retailers like Sainsbury's and Marks and Spencers. "The key thing is that this is helping persuade fishing companies like UK Fisheries to get certified and that brings environmental benefits in the oceans."

UK Fisheries, which is based in Hessle, near Hull, is being assessed alongside an international group including the German companies DFFU and Doggerbank GmbH. They have already been certified for its Saithe fishery.

Vessels from Hull have historically operated in the north-east Arctic, which is now under Norwegian control, and subject to strict quotas.

The assessment will be carried out by independent certifier

MacAlister Elliott and Partners Ltd (MEP)

The company's chairman Nigel Atkins said the move "demonstrates the ongoing commitment of UK Fisheries to produce sustainable seafood for the market."