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IN BRIEF - Polish association questions effectiveness of MSC certificates

POLAND
Monday, August 05, 2019

Polskie Stowarzyszenie Przetwórców Ryb (PSPR), the Polish Association of Fish Processors, has expressed concerns with the current Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification process in an open letter from the organization’s president, Jerzy Safader. The origin of PSPR’s grievances with MSC certification occurred in January 2015 when the eastern Baltic cod (the main stack targeted by the Polish fleet) paid EUR 60,000 for MSC certification, only for the certificate to be suspended in December that year. The EUR 60,000 was never paid back, inciting fury amongst many of the processors.  Frustration with the lost money and miscommunication between the MSC representatives and Polish fish processors, however, is not the only topic of concern PSPR has raised with MSC certification. 

The Polish fish processors also argue the costs of acquiring MSC certification are unfairly placed entirely on processors and that the certification is an ineffectual means of ensuring sustainable fisheries.   The PSPR argues MSC certification is not actually voluntary, and it is a barrier to the market if producers do not have the certificate. Most retailers demand processors have MSC certification, yet they play no role in bearing the cost of acquiring the credential. PSPR contends that if MSC certificates are to remain the standard of verifying sustainability throughout Europe then the cost should be shared amongst each participant in the chain of production, not just fish processors. The cost after all is not insignificant. Certification can reduce profitability of a company by as much as 11% thanks to the cost of logo and fees incurred.

Source: Eurofish Magazine


IN BRIEF - North Sea cod stocks are critical – it really is time for Britain to try other fish

UNITED KINGDOM
Thursday, August 01, 2019

Britain, despite being an island surrounded by coast-eroding seas, has a peculiar relationship with fish. No number of supermarket campaigns, chefs on TV and Cornish expats have managed to lure consumers away cod, salmon and tuna: of the GBP 3.8bn we spend on seafood each year, nearly GBP 2bn is spent on the top three.

Fish has long played second fiddle to meat in the UK, and when it doesn’t, it most likely arrives battered, smoked and thinly sliced, or in a tin. Britain is hooked on regularity and ease.

Something’s got to give. As is customary every few years, we are again met with the prospect of a cod shortage. In the North Sea, the fish is in danger of losing its sustainable status, which is designated by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the body that examines and certifies species to ensure stocks remain healthy. Not for the first time, populations in the North Sea, from which a significant portion of the UK’s cod is supplied, have fallen to critical levels. Scientists have recommended fishers reduce their catch by 63 per cent.

Source: INews


IN BRIEF - Strong Start for Icelandic Mackerel Season

ICELAND
Thursday, August 01, 2019

Strong start for Icelandic mackerel season. The Icelandic mackerel fishing season has got off to a good start, according to Magnús Róbertsson, production manager at HB Grandi’s Vopnafjörður factory in Iceland.

The mackerel season got underway when Venus delivered the first mackerel of the summer on 12th July 2019.

‘Production has been been largely continuous. We started gradually and have used the down time when there’s no raw material to clean the equipment. Apart from that we’re working shifts around the clock and an ideal landing for us is when the pelagic vessels bring 600 to 700 tonnes,’ he said, commenting that the mackerel are larger and better than they were last year.

Source: Fish Focus


IN BRIEF - Tuna Season re-opens after a temporary stop announced in July

GIBRALTAR
Thursday, August 01, 2019

Tuna season has re-opened after temporary measures were introduced last month with the Government also increasing the quota from 15.5 to 16.74 tonnes.

A statement from the Government said:

The Tuna fishing season re-opens on 6th August after a temporary stop introduced on 19th July (2019). The season will end on 15th October, unless the total allowable catch is reached earlier.

In today’s Gazette, the Government also increased the quota from 15.5 tonnes to 16.74, reflecting an increase in quotas allowed by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). So far 14.392 tonnes of tuna have been caught meaning that the total amount left following the new quota will be approximately 2.35 tonnes.

Source: Rock Radio


IN BRIEF - Moving aquaculture out to sea could rescue coastal ecosystems

CHINA
Thursday, August 01, 2019

Along the shore of northern Java, the most densely populated island in Indonesia, they thought they had it made back in the 1980s, when the craze for turning mangrove swamps into prawn ponds took hold. Prawn prices were high. Village after village took the bait. “We wanted to raise some income and feed our families”, says Maskur, a teacher in Wedung, a large village on the River Wulan.ç

But now they are living with the consequences. The loss of their protective coastal strip of mangroves triggered an invasion by the sea that has engulfed many of their ponds in the past two decades, and eaten into the rice fields further inland.

“We’ve lost 500 metres to the sea in the last 10 years,” said Maskur, as our boat headed out into a bay unmarked on any maps. We passed the submerged remains of banks that had once surrounded village ponds. “I bought 10 hectares of ponds here in 2004, but three years later they were swept away,” said village official Nor Khamed.

Source: China Dialog Ocean


IN BRIEF - A wake-up call for EU fisheries ministers

EUROPEAN UNION
Thursday, August 01, 2019

Half a century of overfishing, including a devastating crash of the North Sea cod fishery in the nineties, should have been warning enough that we cannot negotiate nature’s limits.

Unfortunately not. Now ICES is advising that North Sea cod populations are at such depleted levels, that there should be a 70 percent cut to fishing limits in 2020, compared to 2019.

The need to drastically reduce fishing of North Sea Cod will be a disaster for many fishers. In many ways it is also a political disaster for fisheries ministers.

Source: The Parliament Magazine


IN BRIEF - 'Fish transportation system' could be used to move salmon trapped by slide near Lillooet

CANADA
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A Seattle-based company is waiting to find out if its “fish transportation system” will be called into action to help move tens of thousands of spawning salmon trapped by a rockslide in the Fraser River north of Lillooet, B.C.

The slide was discovered in mid-June, and has left behind what’s been described a high-speed waterfall which is obstructing salmon trying to return to their spawning grounds.

The provincial and federal governments have been working to find ways to get the fish moving again, and are currently transporting tank-loads of fish via helicopter. Fisheries and Oceans Canada said so far, 1,340 fish have been moved above the slide using this method, but at the last available count, 40,000 had gathered below.

Source: CTV News


IN BRIEF - P.E.I. tuna processing plant opens up new markets, bigger profits

CANADA
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A tuna buyer in North Lake, P.E.I., has just opened what he says is Canada's first federally-approved bluefin tuna processing facility. 

The cut house, as it's called, uses traditional Japanese knives to process the tuna.

Jason Tompkins has been in the tuna business for 18 years, the last six as a buyer in North Lake.

He said it was time to find a new way to sell tuna from Prince Edward Island.

Source: CBC


IN BRIEF - Oceana renews call for ‘political will’ to enforce fisheries law

PHILIPPINES
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

AN international ocean advocacy nongovernment organization (NGO) reiterated its call to the Duterte administration to exercise “political will” in implementing Republic Act 8550 as amended by Republic Act 10654 to protect the livelihood of small fishermen against commercial fishing vessels that regularly “raid” municipal fishing grounds.

In particular, Oceana said all commercial fishing vessels with a gross tonnage of 3.1 metric tons and above should be required to install a vessel monitoring device for proper monitoring and tracking of their movements.

At a news conference in Quezon City on Tuesday, Oceana President Jim Simon and Senior Advisor Michael Hirshfield together with Oceana Philippines Vice President Gloria Estenzo-Ramos said the installation of monitoring device will help prevent illegal fishing activities in areas where these commercial fishing vessels are supposed to be “off-limits.”

Source: Business Mirror


IN BRIEF - 20,000 more sturgeon juveniles released into Narva River

ESTONIA
Monday, July 29, 2019

TALLINN - The six-year-old project in restocking Atlantic sturgeon in Narva River marked another milestone on Wednesday when 20,000 more sturgeon juveniles were released into the border river, regional newspaper Pohjarannik said. 

The first Atlantic sturgeons -- 400 one-year-old juveniles brought here from Canada by plane -- were released into the river in October 2013. Of the next consignment, hatched in Germany, some were released into Narva River young while others were released in several portions later after growing bigger on the Haaslava fish farm.

Fish researcher Meelis Tambets told the newspaper that this time altogether 50,000 hatchlings were brought from Germany, 20,000 of which were released into the river at once. The remaining 30,000 were taken to the fish farms of Haaslava and Polula and will be released later.

Source: The Baltic Times


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