GLOBAL - The Echebastar Indian Ocean purse seine tuna fishery has been unable to meet the requirements to achieve MSC certification, according to the final report from Acoura, the Conformity Assessment Body (CAB) responsible for assessing the fishery against the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) Fisheries Standard.
The fishery failed to meet the minimum score required under the MSC Fisheries Standard’s Performance Indicator for harvest control rules. All Performance Indicators require a score of 60 or greater to gain MSC certification.
The Echebastar fishery entered into full assessment on 22 January 2013. The assessment process included stakeholder input and consideration of all relevant and current information related to the fishery.
“The MSC acknowledges the considerable energy and investment Pesqueras Echebastar S.A put into the assessment process, as well as the important improvements the company has already delivered in moving their fishing operations towards sustainability. The MSC understands their disappointment at the outcome and would like to thank Echebastar for being the first Spanish tropical tuna fishing company committed to the MSC program,” said Laura Rodríguez Zugasti, MSC Program Director for Spain and Portugal.
“We hope continued improvement in regional management of Indian Ocean tuna fisheries will allow Echebastar to realize their ambition of achieving MSC certification in the future.”
The fish stocks targeted by the Echebastar fishery are under the responsibility of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, the relevant Regional Fisheries Management Organisation. The Commission is responsible for the management of all tuna and tuna-like species in the Indian Ocean, and will hold its annual meeting in 2016.
“The IOTC has been reporting that it’s making good progress on harvest control rules,” said Dr David Agnew, MSC’s Standards Director.
“The MSC hopes this positive momentum can be maintained and will soon result in the adoption of clear harvest control rules, which are important to maintaining healthy fish stocks and thriving fisheries now and into the future.”
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