HERRING caught off the West coast of Scotland is being sustainably fished, according to the latest advice released by marine scientists at the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).
And their recommendation for a two per cent catch increase next year follows the advice released by ICES two weeks ago which confirmed that North Sea herring was also being sustainably harvested with fishing pressure below the recommended level.
A spokesman for the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation said: “West of Scotland herring has been managed under a long term plan for the stock since 2008, with the Scottish fishing industry playing a key role in the plan’s formulation.
“The plan has ensured the stock has remained above precautionary limits and is fished at a level below recommended targets for maximum sustainable yield. West of Scotland herring already boasts the coveted Marine Stewardship Council certification. The fishery achieved the prestigious eco-label certificate last year.”
He continued: “ICES advise that an overall total allowable catch of 28,067 tonnes should be set for West of Scotland herring in 2014, which represents a two0 per cent increase on this year’s recommendation, which in itself was 20 per cent higher than the 2012 catch allocation. Herring catching traditionally runs during the summer season and it is Scotland’s second most valuable herring fishery, estimated to be worth around £8million this year.”
Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, welcomed the recommended catch increase. He said: “This latest advice confirms the commitment of Scottish fishermen in taking care of the herring stock by adopting a carefully formulated plan to ensure long-term sustainable catching.
“Herring is a fantastic fish to eat and is packed full of healthy omega-3 oils that are beneficial to heart health. Herring is a great fish for the barbecue and we would urge consumers to give this incredibly tasty fish a try this summer.”