Faroes mackerel update: Independent Adjudicator’s decision on objections
London - Independent Adjudicator, Melanie Carter, has remanded an objection on the Faroese Pelagic Organisation North-East Atlantic Mackerel Fishery to the certifier, Det Norske Veritas (DNV), reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to MSC.
In their assessment, DNV scored the fishery as consistent with international laws or standards aimed at achieving sustainable fisheries. However, because the Faroe Islands have not agreed a way of sharing the quota between coastal states (currently agreed by Norway and the EU), Ms Carter concluded that it was unreasonable of DNV to describe the fishery as meeting the minimum level required. The decision follows an oral hearing and further submissions by the certifier, fishery client and the objectors, Marine Scotland.
Consequences of the decision
Marine Scotland's objection has now been remanded to DNV who must now reconsider their scoring of the fishery on PI 3.1.1 and either change it or provide justification for their decision.
What happens next?
Normally, the certifier would be given 10 working days to supply their response but - in light of the Christmas period - Ms Carter has extended that deadline until 14th January. Once DNV has responded, the other parties in the objection will be given a further 5 working days to respond to their decision. Ten working days after the 14th, the Independent Adjudicator will publish her final decision on whether DNV's response has been "adequate to meet the matters raised in the remand" or if the objection should be upheld.
Effect on other mackerel fisheries
The IA's decision should have no effect on the other MSC certified mackerel fisheries which all fall within Norwegian or EU jurisdiction. Ms Carter notes, in her response, that "EU and Norway have put in place their own bilateral agreement setting out their agreed share of the TAC" and that "the degree to which a management system is in place may vary according to the different jurisdictions." All of the MSC certified mackerel fisheries are still subject to the harmonised condition that requires them to establish a mechanism for monitoring and managing the combined catch of all the nations (including Iceland and the Faroe Islands) before the end of 2011. The certifiers of the other fisheries will, however, need to account for this outcome and the difference in their fisheries in their next surveillance reports.