Mediation proposed on Russia pollock MSC bid

In the latest development in determining if the Russian Sea of Okhotsk pollock fishery will obtain Marine Stewardship Council certification, the independent adjudicator for the case has asked the objectors to reach a compromise.

The saga began in January, when conformity assessment body (CAB) Intertek Moody Marine announced that the fishery should be certified to the MSC standard. In early February, the At-sea Processors Association (APA) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) filed objections to the certification. In March, Intertek issued a response refuting the majority of the objections.

In a response, Michael Lodge, independent adjudicator for the MSC, invited both the client fishery and the objectors to notify him if there is any reasonable basis for exploring an acceptable solution other than adjudication.

“Now that the formal response of the CAB has been received, the next step is to determine whether there is a possibility of a settlement; that is, whether the differences between the parties may be resolved through a mutually acceptable adjustment to the final report and determination,” wrote Lodge. “If such a settlement is not possible, then the matter would proceed to formal adjudication and all or any of 'the client fishery, the objector(s) and the CAB' may submit further written representations.

“Clearly, if the parties remain very far apart, the only reasonable way forward would be to proceed to adjudication under the objection procedure,” said Lodge. “On the other hand, if there is a possibility that in-depth consultations may be helpful, I feel that the possibility should be explored in order to avoid delays and costs.”

The MSC objections procedure allows for about 10 days for the consultation phase.


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