Editor’s picks: Catch shares, certificates


Steven Hedlund

Published on
December 9, 2009

Here’s a recap of this week’s can’t-miss SeafoodSource news stories:

• Is the United States ready to comply with the European Union’s new catch-certificate requirement, designed to prevent IUU fishing? Yes it is, according to Timothy Hansen, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Seafood Inspection Program. The agency has set up an online application system allowing exporters to fill out and submit catch certificates electronically in a quick and efficient manner, said Hansen. The new requirement is not expected to curb the flow of U.S. seafood exports to the EU, assured Hansen, but there is concern among exporters about some of information required on the catch certificate.

• On Thursday, NOAA released its long-awaited policy on catch shares. The policy, which is only a draft and is subject to public comment through 28 February, encourages the use of catch shares but does not mandate them. The agency said it recognizes that catch-share systems are not a cure-all for ailing fisheries but are a proven way to promote sustainable fisheries. Thirteen U.S. fisheries are currently managed under a catch share system; four more will be next year.

• A new partnership took shape this week — yet another sign that the sustainable seafood movement is advancing. Darden Restaurants, the world’s largest casual-dining company and parent of Red Lobster, and the U.S. Agency for International Development formed the Global FISH Alliance — a public-private partnership designed to enhance livelihoods, biodiversity and food security by promoting sustainable fisheries and responsible aquaculture.

• Also on the sustainable seafood front, Canada’s second largest food retailer is now selling a line of private-label seafood products certified according to the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices. This week, Sobeys publicized its commitment to selling BAP-certified seafood. It operates more than 1,300 stores in 10 Canadian provinces.

• What’s impeding France’s seafood industry? The three Ps — prices, petrol and pirates, according to a new PricewaterhouseCoopers report. The report lays out the challenges facing the country’s seafood trade, including falling seafood prices, which have cut into the bottom line.

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