Responsible Business
Sustainability and the Environment

As the largest Scampi manufacturer in the UK, we know we have a responsibility to respect, protect and nurture our environment. We want to make sure that the stocks of seafood from which we source our Scampi are healthy ensuring we minimise the impact of our activity on the ocean.


As a second generation family business, making scampi for nearly forty years, we have a vested interest in making all aspects of the scampi fishery ever more sustainable. To be able to demonstrate this to those not as close to the “engine room” as us, we believe that independent certification against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to be the very best way to go, and one we have been committed to for over sixteen years.

We started our journey to gain independent MSC certification for our local scampi fisheries in the Southern North Sea back in February 2008 (1) when the MSC was in it’s infancy. The certification was unsuccessful due to the way that the fishing effort on discrete scampi fishing areas (Functional Units - FUs) was managed by government (including the EU) known as “Effective Management” (2). This was a challenge that has continued until recently, when in 2019, the Nephrops (scampi) Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) was launched, even though the fisheries are viewed independently by experts at ICES, who review the annual stock assessments, as being in a healthy condition (3).

The Nephrops FIP supported the long-term sustainable sourcing of scampi in the North Sea, Irish sea and West of Scotland (3). Whitby Seafoods were founding members and chair of this project, to provide information and expertise to deliver a plan for fishery improvements (3). It was hoped that a voluntary set of guidelines (especially around temporal fishing effort management) within the Functional Units could be introduced that would allow MSC certification of all the scampi fisheries. Immense progress was made (3) but the COVID-19 lockdowns meant more time would be needed.

Letter from the first 2008 MSC bid Letter from the first 2008 MSC bid
MSC Performance Indicators - Taken from 2023 Project UK Report Taken from 2023 Project UK Report

This delay has had a silver lining though, in that the UK Government’s “Demersal Fishery Management Plans” (FMPs) (4), that will complete at the end of 2024, can provide the legal bedrock with which to ensure the vital third principle of “Effective Management” of the MSC’s principles are more easily met. Otherwise the other pillars had largely been achieved (3).

On top of this, the scampi industry, lead this time by the catching sector themselves (namely the SWFPA, ANIFPO, NIFPO, SFO and CFA but supported by the processing sector, ourselves included!) have embarked upon the journey to the MSC’s newly minted “In transition to MSC” (ITM) programme, that was previously exclusively for artisanal fisheries (5). This creates a framework similar to the project UK FIP, but allows the industry to reframe and redesign itself in line with the new FMPs. The ITM has robust milestone cut offs, that the project needs to meet in terms of demonstrating the progress all stakeholders expect in modern day food production systems facing the challenges of growing global populations, affluence and climate change (2).

Seafish will be secretariat for the ITM, with staff from the same team that lead the drafting of the FMP for Scottish and North Sea Nephrops, providing a useful depth of insight and understanding that will ensure this vital UK fishery continues to maintain its standing as the second biggest UK fishery (3).

Together with Seafish and the Scottish White Fish Producers Association (SWFPA), we have created the below short film to help explain the unique processes inherent to our fishery that makes scampi so abundant in the wild!

1. Hough, Andy and Coombes, Jason. Assessments Southern North Sea nephrops - MSC Fisheries. [Online] February 2008. [Cited: 10 6 2024.].
2. MSC. [Online] [Cited: 10 06 2024.].
3. Project UK. project uk fisheries. [Online] [Cited: 10 06 2024.].
4. Fishery Management Plans. [Online] [Cited: 10 06 2024.].
5. Consortium, British Retail. [Online] [Cited: 10 06 2024.].

Our other responsible sourcing partners

The Marine Stewardship Council are an important partner for the many species of fish which we already buy.

We’re investing in research that will improve our understanding of scampi behaviour, along with our partners, the Seafish Industry Authority.


At Whitby Seafoods we have an understanding that we need to respect, protect and nurture the environment. We rely on these for the long term prosperity of our people, products, and our planet. We have mapped our activities against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and are taking action to reduce and mitigate our impact in these areas.

Click here to read our full Environmental Policy...


Carbon Cloud

Carbon Cloud & Whitby Seafoods Crabby

As a local, family business, we are passionate about ensuring the highest quality at every production stage and contributing to our community. It is a natural next step for us to calculate and monitor our footprint on our climate. We are very proud to be the first seafood product in the UK with a carbon footprint, achieved through our partnership with CarbonCloud, the food industry’s climate intelligence platform. We mapped out the entire supply chain of its scampi products in CarbonCloud’s platform and calculated the emissions at every stage.

Utilising the insights from the climate footprints and the supply chain mapping, we are now able to take decisive action towards our primary environmental objectives: Sourcing seafood responsibly, reducing the carbon impact of energy within our operations, and working with our suppliers to reduce their footprint.

To find out more on this, click here.