Sustainable Harvest

Sustainable seafood harvesting is at the core of Macduff’s business and expressed throughout our mission, vision and values. We’re committed to investing in the long-term health of the oceans and its bounty to provide a reliable, long-term supply of some of the best shellfish available in the world.


Healthy Oceans – Science

Macduff is directly involved with the science and management processes that are critical to sustainable fishing. We continue to make investments to ensure that we are doing the right thing by the environment, which includes investing in government and academic partnerships, vessel surveys, biological sampling and data sharing.

Macduff plays a key role in the ongoing King scallop stock assessment in English waters, the first highly collaborative science project of its kind in the UK. As an industry partner on the Project Steering Board, we sit alongside government officials, scientists and other industry partners, directing the development of robust stock assessments for these important waters. We contribute funds to support the research and collect data at our processing facility through measurement of scallops for biological sampling. In 2016 and 2017 we provided a fishing vessel for scientific surveys.


Healthy Oceans – Fisheries Management

As a leading shellfish company, it is our responsibility to understand differences in the health of various fish stocks and the strength of fisheries management systems in the areas we harvest and procure raw material from. As such, Macduff works closely with policy makers and fisheries managers, engages with pan-UK shellfish stakeholder forums and continues to invest in multi-stakeholder sustainability initiatives.

Macduff is an industry partner in MSC Project UK Fisheries Improvements (PUKFI), contributing funds and actively participating on the PUKFI Advisory Board and Steering Committees for scallops, crab and langoustines (Nephrops).  Macduff collaborates with fishing industry partners, supply chain representatives, retailers, managers and other relevant stakeholders active in these fisheries. Our common interest is to develop and promote sustainable commercial fisheries by implementing an action plan that will see these fisheries improve to the point where they meet high levels of environmental performance, ultimately achieving Marine Stewardship Certification where possible.   

We are also co-funding a comprehensive assessment of the UK scallop industry, covering all sectors and areas of operation. 


Sustainability vision

Investing in sustainability initiatives and embedding sustainability principles across the business is a core value within Macduff Shellfish. Our vision for sustainable UK shellfisheries is based on three fundamental strategic objectives that are inherently dependent upon one another and all heavily reliant on strong working partnerships with government agencies, industry professionals and scientists.

Ongoing Evidence Gathering

We believe that a robust evidence-based approach is required for any well-informed fisheries management plan. As such, a programme of ‘ongoing evidence gathering’ needs to be developed in partnership with, and trusted by, stakeholders, to support any future management decisions.

Well-informed Co-management

Where intervention is required, ‘well-informed co-management’ should stem from this evidence-based foundation to reduce the risk of unsustainable exploitation or implementation of overly cautious harvest control rules. This should be adaptive and, again, developed in true partnership with all fishery stakeholders.

Secure Access to Healthy Suppliers

Continued engagement by industry in evidence gathering and the development of co-management is dependent upon ‘secure access to healthy supplies’. This requires fishermen to become genuine stakeholders in the shellfisheries that they depend upon and is a pre-requisite to incentivising industry stewardship and genuine long-term partnerships being formed.


Corporate Social Responsibility

As a vertically integrated company, Macduff operates its own fleet of scallop vessels and works closely with partner vessels throughout the supply chain. This begins with exercising responsible harvesting practices and supporting the downstream supply chain through ongoing local investments and strategic partnerships. We’ve developed longstanding personal relationships with supply vessels and work directly with partners who share our sustainability values.

Macduff has exceedingly high health and safety standards onboard our vessels. Macduff utilises the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations’ voluntary vessel safety folder as a safety system to facilitate and monitor compliance with health and safety standards across its fleet. The International Labour Organisation Convention No. 188 (ILO 188) will be implemented in the UK in 2018, setting a minimum standard for all UK vessels to comply with in terms of crew safety and welfare.

Macduff is a member of the Fishermen’s Welfare Alliance, a forum set up collectively with representatives from across the supply chain to facilitate compliance with all relevant legislation related to labour, human rights, health, safety and welfare.