20 reduction fisheries ranked on sustainability in new report

Twenty of the most prominent fisheries used for fishmeal and fish oil are detailed and analyzed in the latest annual sustainability overview of reduction fisheries for 2016, composed by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP).

The fisheries, which together produce total catch in excess of 7.8 million metric tons, are rated by way of a sustainability assessment rubric outlined on www.fishsource.com back in March 2016. Fisheries in Asia were not rated nor were they featured in the “Reduction Fisheries: SFP Fisheries Sustainability Overview 2016” report, due to a lack of available data for that region. 

Primary conclusions arrived at by SFP in the new report for the twenty stocks in question include:

  • Only 3.8 percent of the total catch volume of the reduction fisheries in this analysis comes from stocks in very good condition. As in last year´s overview, this corresponds to a single fishery: Antarctic krill - Atlantic Southern Ocean.
  • Most (57.4 percent) of the total catch volume in this analysis comes from stocks that are reasonably well managed (or better) (i.e., that score 6 or above on all five FishSource criteria).
  • More than one third (42.6 percent; 3.3 million metric tons) of the total catch for reduction purposes comes from the seven less well-managed fisheries (Category C) in this overview.
  • Only 14 percent of the catch comes from stocks that score 6 or above in all criteria AND the score for biomass is 8 or more, meaning biomass is at or above target levels (Category B1). This level of performance is in line with the current Aquaculture Stewardship Council requirements for fisheries providing fishmeal and fish oil for feed to certified farms (ASC 2012).

Moreover, four of the twenty stocks have improved their status since 2015, found SFP: Norway pout – North Sea (C to B1); lesser sand-eel – Dogger Bank area (C to B1); European pilchard - Northwest Africa southern stock (C to B1); and European pilchard – Northwest Africa central stock (C to B2). Conversely, Atlantic menhaden – NW Atlantic (B1 to B2) and Araucanian herring – Chilean (B1 to C) saw their fisheries decrease in the sustainability category.

“It’s unfortunate that less than 60 percent of the volume of fish assessed by this report comes from fisheries that can be considered well-managed. This situation has not improved in recent years and there seems to be a lack of ambition in some regions. The good news is that there are at least two fishery improvement projects in place, two of the fisheries are certified to the MSC standard and another six are in MSC full assessment,” concluded Blake Lee-Harwood, Strategy Director at Sustainable Fisheries Partnership.

Access the “Reduction Fisheries: SFP Fisheries Sustainability Overview 2016” report here: http://cmsdevelopment.sustainablefish.org.s3.amazonaws.com/2016/08/22/SFP_Reduction Fisheries_Sector_2016-fc08787e.pdf



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