Russian pollock harvesters to tackle MSC certification
In January 2007 Vladivostok-based Association of Alaska Pollock Harvesters will be playing host to a representative of Marine Stewardship Council to discuss possible MSC certification for the fishery, according to reports from the Russian Far East.
The Russians are turning to the issue as they proceed from an assumption that MSC certification has gained momentum in USA and Europe and it is expected that certified pollock will sell at $200 per tonne more than the ordinary product.
Large global chains are setting the demands of sustainability on the producers and though Russia is mainly selling h/g material to China, the processed products will go to Europe and USA to put pressure on the Russian fishermen towards sustainability.
The recently created Association, which has brought together some 70% of the APO quota holders, is quickly coming into focus with important initiatives for the fishery.
In particular, the body has drawn up measures to prevent overfishing during the pollock "A" season in the Sea of Okhotsk in 2007.
The regulation would be based on the proposed rated roe yield of 4.5% and the members exceeding the figure would have to pay a fine. The thing is that higher roe yield reported by some operators during the fishery is indicative of an over-fished quota because it is actually masking discards.
It is also decided to improve co-operation with fishery scientists towards better forecasting and a boost to the stock abundance in the future.
The measures would be implemented via the fishery's headquarters, its regulations to be approved by Russia's Federal Fishery Agency as drafted by the Association.
The measures were put forward at the organization's last meeting led by the Association's President Igor Yevtushok (Okeanrybflot plc).
Other major members attending included CJSC Roliz, NBAMR plc, Turnif plc, CJSC Intraros, PBTF plc, Chukotka Tralflot plc,
Vostokrybprom ltd, Dalvest ltd and other firms from the entire RFE.The members hope that the proposed mechanism will pass the test for efficiency at the 2007 Okhotsk APO season.