MarinTrust's new multispecies fishery assessment gets two applicants from Asia

Published on
January 10, 2023
MarinTrust launching new program

Marine ingredients eco-certifier MarinTrust has released its assessment framework for multispecies fisheries and has begun accepting applicants for the certification.

The framework has been designed to meet needs of complex fisheries that do not typically meet the “conventional approach” of traditional reduction fisheries, MarinTrust said. MarinTrust made “major adaptations” to its standard designed for regions with wide-ranging fisheries, making sure they can provide sustainable fish supplies for both consumption and fishmeal and fish oil.

Two international fisheries have already applied for certification under the assessment: the Gulf of Thailand mixed-trawl fishery and the Vung Tau multispecies fishery in Vietnam.

“Managing multispecies fisheries of over hundred species together is very challenging," Gulf of Thailand Trawl Fishery Improvement Project Director Vorapong Iamtrakul said. "The MarinTrust multispecies assessment criteria guides us through the areas we need to focus so that we become more confident on the right pathway for improving Thailand’s fishing sector, restoring aquatic resources, raising stakeholders awareness, and protecting our ocean. It is truly a multi-stakeholder project, based on the commitment and the expectation of members of the Thai Sustainable Fisheries Roundtable, with eight associations along Thailand seafood supply chain joining hands together for the first time ever."

The organizations involved in fishery's application to MarinTrust are the Thai Fishmeal Producer Association, Thai Feed Mill Association, National Fishery Association of Thailand, Thai Overseas Fishery Association, Thai Food Processors' Association, Thai Frozen Food Association, Thai Tuna Industry Association, and Thai Shrimp Association.

Both the Gulf of Thailand mixed-trawl fishery and the Vung Tau multispecies fishery used MarinTrust standards to develop fishery improvement projects before embarking on full certification under the new standard.

“A multispecies mixed trawl fishery improvement project is probably the most-challenging assignment we have taken on so far," Vung Tau trawl Fishery Improvement Coordinator Kim Thanh said. "We are proud that the FIP Vung Tau project in Vietnam has been accepted onto the MarinTrust Improver Program, even though we realize we still have a long way ahead of us."

Global Seafood Alliance Standards Coordinator, Program Integrity Advisor, and Multispecies Pilot Steering Group Chair Dan Lee said he's excited to see the progression of the new certification.

“The emergence of this assessment methodology is truly something to celebrate. MarinTrust, its fishery experts, and these pioneer fisheries are to be commended for their determination to find workable solutions to complex, real-world fishery  problems,” Lee said.

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