Grimsby Traditional Smoked Fish relies heavily on fishing in the North East Atlantic. Most fish is sourced from Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Norway. Therefore it is important that these fisheries continue to maintain a sustainable and responsible management of the areas under their care.
The marine ecosystems of the North East Atlantic are highly productive with an abundant diversity of marine species. The objective of the three main fishing grounds, Iceland, Faroe and Norway, is to conserve and utilise this resource in a way that maintains this biodiversity and abundance while securing economic sustainability. Each of these fisheries operates outside of the EU and do not suffer the depredations of large scale over-fishing that has caused Scottish waters and the North Sea to be depleted of fish.
A 2009 Green Paper published by the European Commission analysed why, despite reform of the Common Fisheries Policy in 2002, European Union fish stocks continue to be in trouble, with 88 per cent of stocks overfished, against a global average of 25 per cent. By contrast, good management of sustainable fisheries in Iceland, Faroe and Norway has led to a steady abundance of marine species. It is from these environmentally reliable sources that Grimsby draws much of its fish.
In Iceland, the government works together with the International Council for the Regulation of the Seas (ICES) to protect the sustainability of its national fish stocks. The Marine Research Institute, the Directorate of Fisheries and the Fisheries Association of Iceland oversee the fisheries management system and within it the catch limitation system. These schemes regulate fishing in order to maintain the health and biodiversity of the Icelandic fisheries.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, in a letter dated 23 May 2009, requested ICES to evaluate their management plan for growth of Icelandic cod stocks, a principal source of Grimsby Traditional Smoked Fish:
“Since the mid 1990’s the Government of Iceland has attempted through its management scheme for the Icelandic cod fishery to increase the size of the cod stock towards the size that generates maximum sustainable yield. To that end, progress has been made, reflected in lower fishing mortality and increase in spawning stock biomass from historical low of 120 thousand tons in 1993 to 220 thousand tons at present.
The main objective of the management plan is to ensure that the spawning stock biomass…will… be above the present size of 220 thousand tons by the year 2015.”
The health of Icelandic cod, in numbers, has nearly doubled since the early 90s. The catch limitation system means that only responsible and sustainably fished Icelandic cod and haddock are processed into Grimsby Traditional Smoked Fish.The trading link between Iceland and the Humber region of England is currently the largest trading relationship within seafood anywhere in the world and is an important insurance for the continued supply of North East Atlantic fish into Grimsby.
In the Faroe Islands responsibility for the local fisheries is governed by the Commercial Fisheries Act of 1994. This legislation ensures detailed regulations are implemented for commercial fisheries where the majority of fish is line caught.
The Faroese Fisheries Laboratory provides the Ministry of Fisheries and Natural Resources with scientific assessments and advice on the status and management of fish stocks and marine ecosystems around the Faroe Islands. This involves detailed scientific measurements and collaboration with commercial fishermen to assess the continued health of fish stocks. All research is guided by the International Council for the Regulation of the Seas.
Stock management is of paramount importance in Norway. For many years Norway has set the standards for the stock management of sustainable fisheries and the relationship and balance between fishing and biomass. In accordance with recommendations from ICES the Norwegian quota system represents one of the most stringent and comprehensive monitoring systems for fishing in existence today.
Guaranteeing that fish can be traced back to responsibly managed and sustainable fisheries is integral for the continued utility of the North Atlantic as a fisheries resource, while maintaining the abundance and biodiversity of the species that make this area of the world so special. As one of the biggest markets for sustainably fished haddock and cod Grimsby is a vital force in the promotion of environmentally responsible fishing. It is this rich supply of good quality, sustainably acquired fish that allows Grimsby Traditional Fish Smokers to maintain both their guarantee of excellent taste and their support for marine conservation.
The North Atlantic region has a broad network of regional bodies for international cooperation and scientic study on the conservation and management of living marine resources and the protection of the marine environment.
ICES: International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
International coordination and promotion of marine research in the North Atlantic, providing scientic advice on sheries for governments and intergovernmental bodies.
NEAFC: Northeast Atlantic Fisheries Commission
International cooperation on sheries for pelagic and deep sea sh stocks in the Northeast Atlantic. NEAFC has also adopted measures to close certain areas in international waters to bottom shing to protect vulnerable marine habitats, including corals and seamounts.
OSPAR : Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic
International cooperation on the prevention and elimination of pollution from land-based and oshore sources, dumping or incineration, and assessment of the quality of the marine environment.
MRI: The Marine Research Institute
Conducts various marine research and provides the Ministry of Fisheries in Iceland with scientic advice based on its research on marine resources and the environment.
Icelandic Directorate of Fisheries
Takes care of the day to day administration of Icelandic sheries. The Directorate is responsible for implementing legislation on sheries management and regulating sustainable use of sh stocks.
The Faroese Fisheries Laboratory
Scientic research and assessment of the status and management of sheries and the marine environment.