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Falklands Toothfish Enters MSC Assessment

22 August 2012

FALKLAND ISLANDS - Consolidated Fisheries Ltd is pleased to announce that the Falkland Islands longline Patagonian Toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) fishery entered full assessment for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification.

This fishery will be the first fishery in Falkland Islands waters to seek certification and – if successful – will further increase the number of MSC certified toothfish fisheries around the world. The assessment will be conducted by the independent certification body, Intertek Moody Marine, who will evaluate the fishery against the MSC Standard for well-managed and sustainable fisheries which assess the sustainability of the fish stock, the environmental impacts of fishing activity and the management systems in place.

In preparing for the assessment, Consolidated Fisheries Ltd (CFL) has been working closely with the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department - the Falkland Island Government department responsible for the management of the fishery, the scientific research and development which underpins the good governance of all local fisheries in the Islands and the overall guardianship of the Falkland Islands Conservation Zone.

The longline toothfish fishery comprises all areas within the Falkland Islands Conservation Inner and Outer Zones beyond three miles of the baseline from which the territorial sea is measured and where the water depth is 600 metres or greater. The current Total Allowable Catch for the fishery is 1,200 metric tonnes per year with all of the quota being held by Consolidated Fisheries Ltd.

CFL is a local company, established in 1994 and owned by a number of Falkland Island fishing companies and individuals. It owns one vessel, the CFL Gambler, and operates exclusively within the Falkland Islands with Patagonian Toothfish being the sole targeted species. The company is a founding member of the Coalition of Legal Toothfish Operators (COLTO) and funds many scientific research projects into toothfish within the Islands.

Tom Blake, Chairman of Consolidated Fisheries Ltd, said: “The company has every confidence in the high standard of fisheries management and environmental measures practised within the Islands and we look forward to achieving international recognition, through MSC certification, of the sustainability principles promoted by us in the local fishing industry, the Falkland Islands Government and the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department.”

Claire Pescod, MSC Fisheries Outreach Manager, UK, said: “I’m very pleased to welcome the Consolidated Fisheries Ltd toothfish fishery into full assessment. There is a strong demand for MSC certified, demonstrably sustainable toothfish and I wish CFL a swift and successful assessment.”

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