Fish exports given sustainable seal of approval

Last updated 05:00 21/02/2013

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New Zealand exports of hoki, tuna and whiting are getting the seal of approval as sustainable fisheries, which should give the fish an edge with shoppers overseas.

Earlier this year fast-food giant McDonald's committed to using only Maritime Stewardship Council-backed fish at its US outlets, which industry reports claim will allow lower-cost producers to access the North American market once their accreditation process is complete.

New Zealand has became the latest country to join the international seafood accreditation programme, with stocks of hoki, tuna and whiting now being monitored by the council.

The announcement comes after a three-year assessment of the stocks, and is being supported by deep-water fisheries companies Sanford, Sealord and the Talley's Group, as well as the Ministry for Primary Industries and the World Wildlife Fund.

Three other New Zealand species (challenger scallops, ling, and hake) are also being assessed for MSC certification.

According to industry figures, New Zealand's seafood exports were worth $1.34 billion in 2012.

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