On Thursday, the US Gulf of Mexico menhaden fishery was officially certified as sustainable against Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standards, meaning all fishmeal and fish oil derived from the fishery's catch can carry an MSC eco-label.

The two primary participants in the Gulf menhaden fishery, Cooke-owned Omega Protein and Daybrook Fisheries, a wholly owned subsidiary of South Africa's Oceana Group, jointly requested the evaluation of the fishery for MSC certification in 2017.

The Gulf menhaden fishery is the second menhaden fishery to achieve MSC certification. In September, Omega Protein's Atlantic menhaden fishery received MSC certification.

"The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) 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.

"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.