A new sticker scheme has been launched to help customers recognise scallops that have been hand-dived - rather than dredged - from Jersey's waters as demand for responsibly-caught seafood rises.
‘Jersey Hand Dived’ is being launched by Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE), a UK charity dedicated to creating marine reserves and establishing sustainable models of fishing, in collaboration with local scallop divers.
The Jersey Hand Dived stickers will carry each scallop diver’s permit number and will be visible on all packaging of all products sourced by restaurants, merchants or the public, enabling consumers to make responsible decisions when purchasing seafood.
Hand-gathering from the sea floor is one of the lowest impact fishing methods.
As the charity explained, diving for scallops is a selective process, which avoids bycatch or undersized catches and as such is a “truly responsible fishery” that leaves a minimal footprint on the marine environment.
Pictured: The scheme guarantees the scallops have been caught responsibly.
Currently, only 23% of Jersey’s half-a-million-pound scallop fishery is hand-caught, with the remainder caught by dredging, which can harm plant life on the sea bed, as well as leading to 'by-catch.'
“The Jersey Hand Dived scallop scheme allows complete traceability for the consumer to diver, ensuring their product is from a sustainably managed fishery with zero bycatch and ultra-low impact on the natural ecosystem,” local scallop diver Leo Scholefield said.
As part of the scheme, BLUE has launched the @jerseyhanddived Instagram account, to showcase Jersey’s commercial scallop divers as well as merchants and restaurants selling Jersey Hand Dived scallops to both inspire and educate about responsibly-sourced seafood.
View this post on Instagram
Francis Binney, a Marine Scientist for the Government’s Marine Resources Department said promoting the best of Jersey’s seafood through the Jersey Hand Dived scallop label would be a great way of raising awareness as well as giving local consumers a choice over the seafood they consume.
Andrew Baird, Executive Head Chef at Longueville Manor welcomed the scheme, sharing the hope it will inspire new habits in the local hospitality industry.
“I am grateful to Blue Marine Foundation for investigating this initiative,” he said. “I hope the awareness will result in only hand-dived scallops being used in all of the island’s hotels and restaurants.”
Video: The 'Jersey Hand Dived' stickers aim to promote hand dived scallops caught sustainably by Jersey divers in Jersey waters.
“We are thrilled to launch the Jersey Hand Dived label to help promote this delicious local seafood,” Appin Williamson, Jersey Project Manager at BLUE, said.
“BLUE is hugely proud to support this low-impact industry and look forward to working closely with local fishermen to help it continue to thrive.”
Express recently explored the environmental impact of trawling and dredging in local waters, and what can be done to make the local seafood industry more sustainable in a recent Bailiwick Podcast...
Pictured top: An example of the new quality mark. (Ocean Culture Life)
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