The management plan was established through a collaboration between the three largest supply countries of Crangon crangon: Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. As a result, the management plan is complied with by more than 90% of the shrimp fishermen in the North Sea and Wadden Sea. Since the start of the certification process, the management plan has been updated and renewed a number of times. Currently, version 1.2 (adopted on the 15th of December, 2022) of the management plan is in effect. The management plan is managed by the Steering Committee of the cooperating parties: the Dutch Cooperative Fisheries Organization (CVO), the German MSC-GbR and the Danish Fishermen – Producers Organization (DFPO).
As part of the MSC certification process, the Steering Committee has agreed to form a joint working group consisting of fisheries organisations and NGOs. As a result, NGOs are involved in decision-making and issue recommendations in the field of sustainability and nature conservation.
All participants must adhere to the measures included in this management plan. A brief overview of these measures is presented below:
Any commercial fishing vessel registered in the EU can participate in the MSC certificate, provided that:
- The participant is member of a PO that participates in the management plan;
- It complies with all the rules of the management plan;
- The capacity limit has not been reached.
Rules for fishing/vessels/sieving installations
- The use of electric pulse gear is not permitted (for the time being);
- The size of the fleet is limited to the vessels officially registered on 01-01-2015 and their engine power (for the Netherlands 198 vessels with 40,410 kW);
- The maximum fishing effort per vessel is 4,800 hours (= 200 days) per year at sea;
- The maximum joint beam length is 20m (including shoes) per vessel, unless national laws and regulations dictate otherwise (in the Netherlands, 18m combined beam length excluding shoes);
- The combined weight of the fishing gear may not exceed 4,000 kg (measured dry);
- The minimum mesh size in the entire network is 20mm between the nodes;
- The use of a sieve net (70mm mesh size between the knot) or sorting grid (20mm between the bars) is mandatory throughout the year;
- The use of a sorting machine on board is mandatory;
- sieving installations on land have a sieve with at least 6.8 mm bar width with a sieve surface of at least 1 m2;
- A vessel may land a maximum of 15% sievage in a period of two consecutive weeks, starting at an odd week.
Sustainable fisheries on the long term
Step-by-step increase of the mesh size in the codend:
- From the 1st of May 2016 minimum 22mm between the knots (last 150 meshes);
- From the 1st of May 2019 minimum 24 mm between the knots (last 125 meshes);
- From the 1st of January 2023 at least 25 mm between the knots (last 125 meshes) for participating vessels that are member of CVO and MSC-GbR and 24 mm for participating vessels that are member of DFPO.
Sustainable fisheries on the short term
Every month an average LPUE value of all vessels is calculated and compared with predetermined reference values. If LPUE values fall below the reference values, effort-reducing measures are taken.
Fishermen must register rare and endangered species for conservation purposes (MSC requirement). In order to easily identify these species, every fishermen receives a registration form and an identification guide with pictures. Catch data of these species should be recorded on the form and sent quarterly (in writing or electronically) to the PO.
Waste and oil
Waste (e.g. plastic & net residue), oil and oily residues must be stored safely and responsibly on board and brought ashore for proper disposal.
Control and sanctions
Vessels, sieving stations and POs are checked by an independent control body. Violations of the rules in the management plan are punished. The sanction regulations contain warnings, followed by fines or temporary effort restrictions. Repeated violations will lead to exclusion from the management plan and thereby exclusion from participation in the MSC certificate