Mackerel fisheries submit MSC action plan
By SeafoodSource staff
28 June, 2012
The North East Atlantic mackerel fishery appears to be one step closer to getting its Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certificate reinstated.
The MSC on Tuesday welcomed an action plan aimed at resolving the ongoing dispute over North East Atlantic mackerel. The plan was submitted by the Mackerel Industry Northern Sustainability Alliance (MINSA), a coalition of the seven mackerel fisheries whose MSC certificates were suspended in early April as a result of the deadlock.
However, the fisheries’ certificates may remain suspended until the dispute is resolved, at which point when they will be reinstated without the need for a full reassessment.
“This is an important step towards resolving this situation and towards the reinstatement of the fisheries’ certificates,” said Camiel Derichs, MSC deputy director Europe. “It is worth acknowledging that the gap between the negotiating parties has significantly reduced in the past six months and I am confident that this plan will bring about the resolution that everyone involved in the mackerel fishery is looking for. The commitment and international cooperation between these fisheries is unparalleled and I am hopeful that certificates can be reinstated soon.”
At issue is a significant increase in the amount of mackerel caught by countries with non-certified fisheries. The European Union and Norway accuse Iceland and the Faroe Islands of compromising the health of the mackerel resource by setting their quotas too high, collectively totaling about 300,000 metric tons this year. The dispute has dragged on for more than three years, with Iceland and the Faroes unilaterally setting their own quotas each year. Numerous rounds of negotiations have failed to reach a resolution.
28 June, 2012