The first oyster fishery in the United States has entered the Marine Stewardship Council fisheries standard assessment. Texas-based Prestige Oysters has entered full assessment for oysters harvested in Texas and Louisiana. If granted, it would be the only oyster fishery certified in the Americas.

“Prestige Oysters is extremely excited to be the first oyster fishery to enter MSC full assessment in the United States,” said general manager Raz Halili. “I’m confident in our fishery’s abilities to meet certification. It is important not only to us, but also our supply chain, to ensure the highest standards are met.”

The company has two full-time processing plants and provides market for more than 100 boats stretching from Texas and Louisiana, up to Maryland.

The assessment will be conducted by MRAG Americas — an independent, third-party accredited certification body — and will score the oyster fishery on the health of the target stock, impacts on the marine environment, and fishery management.

“Oysters are an important commercial species as well as play a significant role in the marine ecosystem. If the fishery achieves certification, it will be validation of the fishery’s hard work to harvest oysters sustainably,” said Brian Perkins, the MSC’s regional director for the Americas.

“At a time more than ever, customers want to know how their seafood is harvested,” said Halili. “Prestige Oysters is ready to put our fishery up against the rigorous standards of MSC.”

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Samuel Hill is the former associate editor for National Fisherman. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine where he got his start in journalism at the campus’ newspaper, the Free Press. He has also written for the Bangor Daily News, the Outline, Motherboard and other publications about technology and culture.

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