Russia's Association of Alaska Pollock Fishermen comes closer to sustainable fishing

November 29, 2007 16:47

WWF and Association of Alaska Pollock Fishermen which has united the largest fishing companies of the Russian Far East have signed an agreement of cooperation on principles of sustainable fishing and minimization of damage to marine ecosystems, according to WWF.

Informal consultations and contacts between WWF and fishermen have been held during several years already. Problems of sustainability of biological resources, poaching and the ways of responsible fishing have been discussed during such consultations and one of the solutions here is to apply to the certificate of MSC.

After consultations with WWF and MSC and Sustainable Fishery Partnership (SFP) the members of the Association have come to an agreement to run a preliminary evaluation of the Alaska pollock in compliance with the standards of MSC.

An agreement with the Tavel Company was also signed according to which a "green audit" will be carried out.

The activities of the member companies of the association will be checked according to the norms of sustainable fishing in order to find out if the companies fish legally and the damage to marine ecosystems is minimized.

There is much to be done yet, a representative of WWF Russia - Konstantin Zgurovsky said. According to him, Alaska pollock fishery has many problems now, in particular, a large scale of illegal fishery, bycatch and discarding of Alaska pollock juveniles (which reach up to 20%), not deep enough raw processing and etc. The experience of getting certification for Alaska pollock fishery in USA was also accompanied by certain difficulties and criticism by ecological organizations.

In this situation, Russian fishermen are make a right step in the right direction and WWF Russia will support these efforts to fish sustainably in compliance with the norms of FAO.

Russian companies also admit that the modern principles of sustainability are vital to stay competitive on international seafood market.

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