Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Should MSC revoke Newfoundland Grand Bank shrimp certification?

Can a fishery be considered sustainably managed when the scientific advice is consistently rejected by the management authority in favour of larger TACs?

Clearly the Marine Stewardship Council and Moody Marine think so because the fishery in NAFO area 3L is still certified.

Since 2009 NAFO fisheries managers have set TACs higher than those recommended by NAFO scientists.  In addition, Denmark in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland, unhappy with their share of the TAC, set their own additional quota in several years, a unilateral action allowed under NAFO rules.

The latest incident is the 2011 decision for the 2012 TACScientific advice from NAFO was that the TAC for 2012 should be less than 9,350 t to reduce the risk of continuing decline.  NAFO fisheries Managers instead set the TAC at 12,000 t which will incur a relatively high risk of continuing decline.

This resource peaked in biomass in 2007 and has been in steady decline ever since based on both Canadian and EU survey data.  The decline is expected to continue under  the 2012 TAC set by NAFO.  Is this a sustainably managed fishery?

1 comment:

  1. The decline in the shrimp population is a big concern. With the collapse of the capelin population shrimp has become the main forage species for fish and seabirds. It needs to be sustainably managed taking ecosystem effects into account.