October 17, 2019 — MOSS POINT, Miss. and NEW ORLEANS — Today, the Gulf menhaden fishery was certified as sustainable against Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standards. Now all fishmeal and fish oil produced derived from Gulf menhaden will carry the MSC’s iconic blue checkmark, signaling that they come from a healthy, sustainable fishery.
“The Marine Stewardship Council is a global icon in seafood sustainability, and fisheries that are MSC certified are recognized as some of the best managed in the world,” said Bret Scholtes, CEO of Omega Protein. “Our fisheries have long operated according to sustainable practices, and this certification is just the latest recognition of it.”
The certification was made official following the successful resolution of all appeals at the end of the certification process. Independent auditor SAI Global, which conducted the certification assessment, had initially recommended the fishery for certification in June.
Fisheries that achieve MSC certification are evaluated against a rigorous set of criteria that ensure they are being managed according to the most up-to-date conservation principals. SAI Global evaluated the fishery, whose main participants are Omega Protein and Daybrook Fisheries, against 28 standards across three categories: sustainability of the stock, efforts to minimize environmental impacts, and effective management. Certified fisheries must achieve a minimum score of 60 out of 100 in all 28 indicators, and an average of 80 in each category.
“We’re proud of the work that our industry has done to operate a healthy and sustainable fishery,” said Scott Herbert, Sr., Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Daybrook Fisheries. “Consumers can now trust that all Gulf menhaden products meet the high management and conservation standards of the Marine Stewardship Council.
The Gulf menhaden fishery is the second menhaden fishery to achieve MSC certification. In September, Omega Protein’s Atlantic menhaden fishery was certified sustainable after completing a similarly rigorous process.
About Omega Protein
Omega Protein Corporation is a century old nutritional product company that develops, produces and delivers healthy products throughout the world to improve the nutritional integrity of foods, dietary supplements and animal feeds. Omega Protein’s mission is to help people lead healthier lives with better nutrition through sustainably sourced ingredients such as highly-refined specialty oils, specialty proteins products and nutraceuticals. Omega Protein is a division of Cooke Inc., a family owned fishery company based in New Brunswick, Canada.
The Company operates seven manufacturing facilities located in the United States, Canada and Europe. The Company also has a long-term supply contract with Ocean Harvesters, which owns 30 vessels which harvest menhaden, a fish abundantly found off the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. The Company’s website is www.omegaprotein.com.
All fishing vessels formerly owned by Omega Protein are owned and operated by Ocean Harvesters, an independent company.
About Daybrook Fisheries
Daybrook Fisheries Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Oceana Group Ltd, a publicly traded company listed on the Johannesburg (JSE) and Namibian (NSX) stock exchanges, which is headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa. Oceana Group is ranked as one of the top 10 seafood companies in the world by market capitalization, revenue growth, share price performance and EBITDA.
Daybrook was incorporated in 1990, but traces its roots back to 1949 as Quinn Menhaden. Through an exclusive long-term supply agreement with Westbank Fishing LLC, an independent fishing business that owns and operates 11 vessels, menhaden are caught and delivered to the dock at Daybrook’s production facility. The fish are immediately processed into fishmeal and fish oil through a modern state-of-the-art plant rebuilt in the late 2000’s after Hurricane Katrina. Daybrook’s plant is typically the largest single producer of menhaden products in the world. Daybrook’s fishmeal markets include petfood, aquafeed, and piglet feeds while the oil is destined for aquafeed, cattle and petfood consumers both internationally and within the US marketplace. Its website is https://www.daybrook.com/.
Director of Public Affairs, Omega Protein
Vice President – Sales & Marketing, Daybrook Fisheries
(504) 561-6163, ext. 1276