Certification of toothfish fishery in doubt
A Marine Stewardship Council-appointed adjudicator has ruled that the proposed certification of the Ross Sea Antarctic toothfish fishery be reconsidered by its certifier, Moody Marine, the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC) announced on Friday.
The adjudicator, Micheal Lodge, identified “serious procedural errors” in the approach taken by Moody
Marine, and for several performance indicators, he found that the scores given by Moody Marine were not justified by available scientific evidence, according to the ASOC.
“Given the weight of the evidence, the only rational course of action was to remand the certifier’s report,” said ASOC Executive Director James Barnes. “This fishery should never have been allowed to undergo full assessment in the first place. There are simply far too many unknowns about this highly vulnerable stock, which is precisely why the fishery is officially classified as ‘exploratory’ by CCAMLR (Commission for Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources).”
ASOC first submitted a formal objection to the certification in December, arguing that the scarcity of information about the stock and a lack of scientific rigor in the assessment by Moody Marine, make certification of the fishery unjustifiable.