Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ross Sea Antarctic Toothfish fishery MSC certification in question

FIS is reporting today that MSC Independent Adjudicator Michael Lodge has questioned the scores Moody Marine has assigned to six performance indicators for the Ross Sea Antactic toothfish fishery following an objection made by the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC).  Lodge however dismissed eight of the ASOC objections and also rejected an objection against the definition of the “Unit of Certification”. 

See previous blog entry on this fishery: http://fishyfellow.blogspot.com/2010/01/case-6-sw-ross-sea-antarctic-toothfish.html

FIS reports that ASOC is calling Lodge’s remand a “victory for science and the Antarctic marine environment.” The Coalition argued that the dearth of data on the stock and lack of scientific rigour in the assessment did not support certification of the fishery as sustainable.  Also supporting the objection were the Centre for Biological Diversity and 39 marine scientists under the collective name of Friends of the Ross Sea Ecosystem (FORSE).

FIS reports ASOC Executive Director James Barnes as stating “This fishery should never have been allowed to undergo full assessment in the first place - there are simply far too many unknowns about this highly vulnerable stock, which is precisely why the fishery is officially classified as 'exploratory' by CCAMLR....The adjudicator has agreed with ASOC that Moody cannot justify its scores for a number of crucial indicators.”

Moody Marine has 10 days to issue a “reasoned response” regarding the remand but can apply to Lodge for an extension.  The objections process will be finalised once Lodge considers the response and makes his decision on whether the fishery should be certified or not.  No fishery has thus far been denied MSC certification based on an objection.

Link to FIS article http://www.fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?monthyear=&day=11&id=36508&l=e&special=&ndb=1%20target=

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