MSC ecolabels suspended for Baltic cod

3:59 min

For the next three months, cod fished from the Baltic will not be labeled by the Marine Stewardship Council as sustainable.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organization that tries to safeguard seafood supplies for the future via its blue ecolabels, which appear in stores on fish that the organization deems sustainable.

Minna Epps, Marine Stewardship Council's (MSC) program director for Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea Region, told Radio Sweden that there was not enough scientific data to guarantee the fish's sustainability in the Baltic.

One possible cause is that many cod are small and too thin, which makes it difficult to determine their age, and may be the result of too many cod competing for food.

There are 55 Swedish boats affected by the suspension. They may continue fishing in the Baltic, but any cod they catch will not be certified sustainable by MSC, and hence will not bear the organization's ecolabel in stores.

"In January, the independent assessor will put forward recommendations, and it is then up to the fishery's client to come up with a corrective action plan," Ebbs said. "If those measures are put in place, or if there's new scientific data that can confirm sustainability, the certificate will be reinstated."

Furthermore, Ebbs told news agency TT that cod as a species are not threatened and that they are especially numerous in the Barents Sea, north of Norway, Russia and Finland.