May 31, 2010 11:53

Sanford Limited welcomed Maersk's decision to stop shipping illegal unregulated and unreported (IUU) fish on its container shipping vessels worldwide, reports with reference to Sanford.

Only recently leading international scientists noted New Zealand as having one of the best fisheries management systems in the world.

Sanford, and I am sure the New Zealand industry, welcomes the removal of IUU and subsidised fish from world markets at the earliest possible opportunity because there is no doubt this will create extra value for countries and fisheries like New Zealand that practice sustainable management.

The New Zealand industry is also driving towards certifying fisheries as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council which provides certification, traceability and logo promotion of certified fisheries.

The New Zealand hoki fishery has been certified for a number of years and New Zealand is already in the process of having the hake, ling and southern blue whiting fisheries as well as some inshore fisheries to go the certification process.

The New Zealand industry has been engaged in a number of initiatives to identify to relevant Authorities vessels engaged in IUU fishing and its membership of the Coalition of Legal Toothfish Operators (COLTO) is evidence of this.

The bizarre part of this announcement is to try and understand how Maersk will make the judgement calls on what is illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing product and what is not. This is sometimes difficult for Governments that lack some of the sophisticated controls and processes that New Zealand seafood exporters are required to comply with.

We will be looking with interest to see how Maersk intends to deal with this. In the meantime we look forward to increased returns for New Zealand seafood if Maersk is able to restrict international trade in illegal fish.

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