Northeast Atlantic blue whiting FIP enters MarinTrust Improver Program
The Northeast Atlantic blue whiting fishery improvement project (FIP) fishery has been accepted into the MarinTrust Improver Program, following an application submitted by the North Atlantic Pelagic Advocacy (NAPA) group, which is acting as the FIP coordinator.
During the Improver Program process, the FIP will have to meet a series of time-bound improvement milestones, with the aim of meeting all the MarinTrust fishery assessment requirements once all the improvements have been implemented.
The MarinTrust certification program, formerly known as IFFO RS, is a global marine ingredient standard for responsible supply, with requirements based on the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.
In a press release, MarinTrust said that NAPA’s application was thoroughly examined by both its improver program application committee and governing body committee. Only production sites that apply to MarinTrust to add the FIP blue whiting to their scope and are listed on the MarinTrust website under the improver accepted sites section are permitted to make an Improver Program claim.
According to the marine ingredient certification program, the aim of the ongoing work within the NAPA group is to build a comprehensive engagement strategy with key decision-makers, including industry representatives, marine ingredient companies that wish to use the MarinTrust IP claim, relevant government representation, fisher representatives, and NGOs.
The Marine Stewardship Council certificate for blue whiting was suspended in December 2020. Due to the recognition process between the MarinTrust standard and MSC, MarinTrust immediately stopped recognizing the fishery as a supplier of a raw material that can be used to produce MarinTrust certified products. NAPA said MarinTrust’s acceptance of the FIP should pave the way for the lifting of the non-conformance identified by MSC, which said the fishery’s quota settings has been higher than the scientific advice for catches.
NAPA represents more than 40 retailers, foodservice companies, and suppliers from inside and outside the European Union, and is collectively a major buyer of Northeast Atlantic pelagics.
Photo courtesy of Iakov Kalinin/Shutterstock