Action plan for Portuguese sardines approved

A conservation action plan for the Portuguese sardine fishery has been approved by independent certifier Intertek Moody Marine, as the fishery works to regain its Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certificate.

The MSC suspended the fishery’s certificate in December after an audit found that the fishery lacked the necessary harvest controls and that fishing mortality has increased since 2008 when spawning stock biomass has decreased since 2006. Though the plan has been accepted, the suspension will remain in place until there is evidence of stock recovery. An assessment is scheduled for July and again in July 2013. Otherwise, the suspension may be kept in place until January 2015.

The plan include maintaining the current biomass 15 percent below the minimal biomass needed to ensure the sustainable reproduction of the stock (307,000 metric tons).


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