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26.05.06
Rick Stein supports new Cornish Line-Caught Pollack Tags

On Tuesday 30th May, Rick Stein helped Cornish fishermen launch the new line-caught Pollack tags which are the latest addition to the successful line-caught tagging scheme.

Following the success of the South West Handline Fishermen's Association (SWHFA) line-caught bass tagging scheme and website (www.linecaught.org.uk) launched last November, the Handliners' Association has received numerous enquiries, particularly from french buyers, for tagged line-caught Pollack and as a result decided to introduce the new golden tags. As with the Bass scheme each Pollack tag is individually numbered and the corresponding vessel and skipper can be easily traced back using the website.

"The feedback we have received from the website has been fantastic – people really do appreciate the quality of the product and also the responsible way in which it is caught," said Andrew Pascoe, line fisherman and vice-chair of the South West Handline Fishermen's Association.

As well as having the South West handline mackerel fishery independently certified against the Marine Stewardship Council's (MSC) sustainability standard, the SWHFA are also putting both the line caught Pollack and Bass fisheries forward for MSC pre-assessment.

"The decision by the Pollack and Sea Bass handliners to undergo an independent assessment to demonstrate sustainability through the MSC programme is great news. The MSC eco-label is already carried on South West handline mackerel and has brought benefits to local fishers. We wish the Pollack and Sea Bass fishers equal success in their assessments and the new tagging system can only help shoppers learn more about where fish comes from and how it is caught," said Chris Ninnes, Operations Director of the Marine Stewardship Council.

The launch is being hosted in Padstow, Cornwall by Rick Stein who has for many years championed sustainable fisheries. "It is the responsibility of restaurateurs to help consumers choose to eat fish from sustainable stocks, and to send encouragement to the fishermen who are making every effort to fish without detriment to the marine environment and for that reason I am delighted to be able to help the handline fishermen launch their new Pollack tags, which I'm sure will be successful," explained Rick Stein.

The website has been organised by Seafood Cornwall, which has worked closely with the fishermen to ensure they also maximise the quality of the fish they land. The project has also had investment from by Seafish and Business Link Devon and Cornwall.

For further information please contact Nathan de Rozarieux on 01736 874304 or visit www.seafoodcornwall.org.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in Seafood Cornwall through the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG).

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Editor's notes:

1. The launch will be take place at 2pm on Tuesday 30th May on the quayside in Padstow, where Rick Stein will be presented with a tagged line caught Pollack from local fishermen.
2. The South West Handline Fishermen's Association is an organisation representing over 70 handline fishermen in Cornwall and Devon. The Association successfully led the Marine Stewardship Council accreditation of the SW Handline mackerel fishery in 2001. Further details of the SW handline Bass and Pollack fisheries can be found on the SWHFA website www.linecaught.org.uk.
3. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) works to find a solution to the global problem of overfishing. The charity has developed an environmental standard for well-managed and sustainable fisheries. Fisheries that meet this standard are allowed to display the MSC's blue eco-label on their products. In the UK, there are 63 products bearing the MSC ecolabel. They can be found at supermarkets such as Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Tesco, Marks & Spencer or ASDA. More information is available at www.msc.org.
4. Seafood Cornwall, an Objective One Fisheries Programme grant funded project, offers advice to industry on fish quality issues and is working to improve marketing and promotion of fish and seafood. Seafood Cornwall is based at the Cornwall Fisheries Resource Centre, 78b The Strand, Newlyn, contact Nathan de Rozarieux, 01736 874304. For more information about the project visit www.seafoodcornwall.org.uk.
5. The Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish) was established by the Government in 1981 and is a Non Departmental Public Body sponsored by the four UK government fisheries departments. Seafish works with all sectors of the UK seafood industry – fishermen, processors, wholesalers, importers, exporters, seafood farmers, fish friers, caterers and retailers – to raise standards, improve efficiency and secure a sustainable future.
6. The tags are produced by Infotag. Infotag (Scotland) Ltd a Scottish software company along with their manufacturing partners Douglas Plastics Ltd are providers of whole and filleted fish traceability systems.
7. The www.linecaught.org.uk website was designed by Gabriella Nonino of Newlyn-based Sandswimmer.net.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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