Certifier responds to MSC Russia pollock objection

Intertek Moody Marine, the Marine Stewardship Council conformance assessment body (CAB) for Russia’s Sea of Okhotsk Pollock fishery responded to the decision to remand objections to the fishery’s certification.

The demand required that IMM address what was considered a serious procedural irregularity in the fishery assessment process that made a material difference to the fairness of the assessment and performance indicator scores considered not to be justified.

IMM said it reviewed and revised the scoring rationales in conformance with the MSC certification requirements for the performance indicators and made no changes to the scores, “as the team is confident that they are consistent with the evidence reviewed throughout the course of the assessment.”

In his June assessment, independent adjudicator Michael Lodge, told IMM to respond to whether a change in score for Principle 1 scoring indicator 1.2.3 that was made between the release of the public comment draft report and the final certification report was a procedural breach of MSC’s certification requirements, making a material difference to the assessment.

IMM said revised scoring rationales will be presented to peer reviewers, Stoke and Honneland, which have been contacted and accepted to review the revised scoring rationale.

“We will request a two week turnaround on comments,” IMM said.

Revised scoring rationale, peer reviewer comments and assessment team responses will be provided to the objector for review and comment. A 10-day working day turnaround period for comments has been suggested.

The final package for PI 1.2.3 will be provided to the IA within 5 working days after receipt from the objector. The final package will consist of the scoring rationale sent to the two peer reviewers, the team response to peer reviewer comments, revised PI 1.2.3 scoring rationale and score (if revised) as a result of peer review comments, scoring rationale, as provided to the objector, the team response to any objector comments and the final scoring rationale and score awarded for PI 1.2.3.

In June, Lodge also remanded for further consideration the score given by IMM to the Principle 1 performance indicator 1.2.2 harvest control rules. He found the certifiers’ decision that the fishery met the second scoring guidepost of P1 1.2.2 at the 80 level is not adequately justified.

IMM said harvest control rules are well-defined and effective harvest control rules are in place. It comes to the conclusion that scoring guideposts 60 and 80 are met, while 100 are not met.

Click here to read IMM's full response.

In April, the World Wildlife Fund withdrew its objection to the certification of the fishery, while the At-sea Processors Association decided to have its objection sent to the IA.


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