MSC certification suspended for Loch Torridon langoustine
Independent certifier, Moody Marine, has suspended the MSC certificate for Loch Torridon langoustine. Any langoustine - also known as Dublin Bay prawns, Nephrops or scampi - caught in Loch Torridon after 11th January 2011 may not be described as ‘MSC certified.', reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to MSC.
Background to the suspension
The suspension comes after increased fishing pressure in the area caused by creel-fishing boats being attracted to the fishery. Many of the extra boats have not signed-up to the voluntary Management Plan Code of Conduct for the fishery. As numbers of extra boats increased, the potential problems that this might cause were identified in the 2009 recertification which included a condition on effort control within the fishery area.
...It is therefore required that TNMG develop, with relevant management bodies, means of achieving appropriate limits on fishing mortality either through effort (input) and/or landings (outputs) within the closed area...
To date, the fishery client has not been able, either by themselves or through working with relevant management bodies, to establish management authority over the fishery that would prevent a further fall in local langoustine abundance. Issuing the suspension, certifier Moody Marine noted that:
"The main problem to the sustainable management of this fishery is the inability to control the level of fishing effort within the closed area. As long as the area is open to allcomers, with over half the fleet not having signed up to the Management Plan Code of Conduct, it is not possible to respond, via the Torridon Nephrops Management Group (TNMG), to the need to reduce fishing effort to maintain or re-build stock levels."
Claire Pescod, UK Fisheries Outreach Manager for the MSC says: "This is an unfortunate situation and, while the MSC acknowledges the efforts the TNMG has made, the long term sustainability of the stock must come first. The recertification and annual surveillance elements of the MSC programme are there to identify important changes in fisheries and in this instance identified the risk to the stock due to increased fishing pressure and management control issues. I hope the TNMG will continue to work to establish a robust management framework for the fishery with the long term sustainability of the stock integrated into their management practices. "