Russia’s Longliner Association enhancing its MSC certificate
The Interregional Association "Longline Fishery" has successfully passed the second control audit under the current MCS certificate and continues to expand its scope of activities. International sanctions have not stopped this process.
The Association holds the MSC certificate for white halibut and Pacific cod fishery in the western part of the Bering Sea (the West Bering Sea and Chukchi fishing zones, the Petropavlovsk-Komandorsk and Karaginsk subzones). In addition, the member companies of the association are implementing a new project to extend the validity of the certificate for cod fishery to the North Kuril and South Kuril zones, West Kamchatka and Kamchatka-Kuril subzones.
To date, according to the current certificate, the second control audit has been completed, which was conducted by MSC experts from the certification body (UCSL-United Certification Systems Limited). MSC experts confirmed the fulfillment of the certification conditions and compliance with the environmental standards.
According to the Association’s representative Vyacheslav Bychkov, the only problem during the audit was the insufficient number of scientific observers for certified fishing areas. "This is an objective problem, because within the framework of the state task, the main efforts of scientific organizations are directed at mass objects, primarily pollock, on which all indicators of the Federal Fisheries Agency depend. However, we are preparing measures to expand the coverage of our certification areas by observers," Bychkov underlined.
According to him, anti-Russian sanctions did not interfere with the process. "As far as I know, to date, the Marine Stewardship Council does not undertake new certifications of Russian users, however, it complies with the terms of contracts concluded before the imposition of sanctions. Therefore, we have the opportunity both to confirm our valid certificate and to continue working to expand its scope," the Association’s representative said.
The work on expanding the scope of the certificate is proceeding as planned: public evaluation of the final report is currently underway. "The conditions that have been set for us are quite working, understandable to us, we don't see anything critical yet," Vyacheslav Bychkov said.