East Kamchatka pollock trawl fishery completes MSC certification
Pollock Catchers Association (PCA) has successfully completed the MSC certification of the East Kamchatka Alaska (Walleye) pollock mid-water trawl fishery in the North Kuril zone and the Petropavlovsk-Commander subzone. This expands the possibilities of producing pollock products with value added, reports Megafishnet.com.
According to PCA, earlier this month, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) published on its official website the final certification decision on the recognition of the Russian trawl fishing of the East Kamchatka Alaska pollock in the North Kuril zone and the Petropavlovsk-Komandorskaya subzone as stable and well-managed.
A team of international experts thoroughly studied the current condition of the East Kamchatka pollock stocks, approaches to the stock forecasting, the fishery impact on the ecosystem, as well as the fishery management system.
The successful certification has been facilitated by the program of scientific observers, within the framework of which independent monitoring of the fishery is carried out and bio-statistical information (pollock catches and by-catch of non-target fish) is collected. Together with scientific institutes – the Far Eastern branches of VNIRO, Pollock Catchers Association has been working on improvement of the fishery monitoring system and on increasing the number of observers onboard the pollock vessels.
"The process of certification of the East Kamchatka pollock fishery took only 9 months from the official start. This is a very good result, which confirms that our fishermen are fishing in accordance with the principles of responsible fishing, the main of which is the preservation of pollock stocks. In addition, this is an indicator of the quality of fishing management by the state regulator and industry science," said Alexey Buglak, President of PCA. He recalled that the first Russian eco-certification of pollock fishing (in the Sea of Okhotsk) took about 5 years – the process began in 2008 and was completed in 2013.
Pollock Catchers Association has been systematically working for many years to improve the sustainability of fishing and expand the international environmental certification of Russian pollock. In 2018, the pollock fishery in the Sea of Okhotsk was successfully re-certified. In March 2021, a certificate was obtained for fishing in the East Sakhalin subzone, and in July, the certification of the second largest fishery in the West Bering Sea zone was successfully completed.