MSC certification for sardine fishery suspended


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
January 11, 2012

Marine Stewardship Council certification of the Portuguese sardine purse-seine fishery has been suspended, just one year after the fishery earned the distinction.

A December audit found that the fishery lacked the necessary harvest controls and that fishing mortality has increased since 2008 while the spawning stock biomass has decreased since 2006, according to the London-based MSC.

Fish caught after 12 January cannot be sold as MSC certified or carry the MSC eco-label, but fish caught before the deadline may still do so, provided it complies with MSC chain-of-custody requirements for traceability and separation.

The fishery has 90 days to work with its certifier, Moody Marine Intertek, to implement an action plan. If the plan is approved, the fishery will remain suspended while the plan is carried out. Failure to do so will result in the withdrawal of the fishery’s MSC certificate at the end of the 90 days.

The fishery was certified in January 2010, become Portugal’s first fishery to achieve MSC certification. The client, the National Association of Purse Seine Producer Organizations (ANOPCERO), comprises 128 vessels that represented about 55,000 metric tons of production in 2011.

In a statement, ANOPCERO said it is committed to reinstating the fishery’s MSC certification. “The producer organizations and the fisheries sector are truly committed in finding the most adequate and efficient measures of management in order to overcome this major challenge,” said Humberto Jorge, the organization’s president.

Want seafood news sent to your inbox?

You may unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. Diversified Communications | 121 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101 | +1 207-842-5500