Russian Pollock Sustainability Alliance expresses disappointment with MSC Independent Adjudicator decision
Russian Pollock Sustainability Alliance expresses disappointment with MSC Independent Adjudicator decision to ‘remand’ the MSC assessment of Russian Sea of Okhotsk Pollock Fishery back to Intertek Moody Marine
June 19 2013
Today it was announced that MSC Independent Adjudicator ‘remanded’ the determination of the Conformity Assessment Body (CAB) Intertek Moody Marine to certify the Mid-water Trawl Pollock Fishery in the Sea of Okhotsk.
“Over the last few years, Intertek Moody Marine and the appointed international expert assessment team have reviewed the Sea of Okhotsk Pollock fishery and the Russian fisheries management system with intense and detailed scrutiny, having access to all the fishery’s science and governance information plus expert support from the national Federal Fisheries Management Agencies. The PCA and CAB have also responded throughout the stakeholder process to over 300 pages of comments and queries. We have respected Intertek Moody Marine’s capabilities as one of the most experienced CAB’s in the MSC programme and felt that their recommendation that the Sea of Okhotsk Pollock fishery be determined to MSC Standard as reliable.
We are of course frustrated with the Independent Adjudicator decision to remand the assessment back to Intertek Moody Marine but as we have done throughout the whole MSC process to certify the Sea of Okhotsk Pollock fishery, we will respect this. The PCA will review the remand ruling and then consult with Intertek Moody Marine to consider our next steps,” – said PCA Chairman, German Zverev.
The MSC journey of the Sea of Okhotsk Pollock fishery started in 2008 and so began the largest fisheries sustainability project in Russia. During the assessment process, the Sea of Okhotsk Pollock fishery has shown great progress improving fishery management and science to meet requirements of the MSC standard whilst making the management processes more transparent for the international community.
To assist key stakeholders in the MSC program, the PCA did more than most other MSC Clients and posted all relevant fisheries management data and information references used in the MSC assessment and scoring process onto a PCA public website domain in English, where stakeholders can review and become acquainted with the fishery.
The MSC Client, the Pollock Catchers Association have worked with the Russian Pollock Sustainability Alliance (RPSA) Companies in a sustainable fisheries development project that has made history for Russian fisheries and within the MSC programme for being the largest of its size of any Russian fishery.
Peter Hajipieris, Chief Technical, Sustainability & External Affairs Officer from Iglo Foods Group, said on behalf of the RPSA Companies: “Naturally we are all disappointed by the International Adjudicator’s ruling. The Russian Pollock Sustainability Alliance Companies have worked with the PCA for over 4 years to advocate the benefits of sustainable fisheries through a third party assessment programme and thus show that the Sea of Okhotsk fishery should benchmark to the MSC standard. We will study the Adjudicator’s ruling and consult with the PCA on our next steps. The Alliance Companies are clear that they will continue to work to support the certification of the Sea of Okhotsk Pollock fishery as a sustainable fishery”.
Intertek Moody Marine now has to respond to the MSC Independent Adjudicator’s decision within a 10 day period from the 19th June. The Independent Adjudicator will then review IMM’s response and make a further determination on whether the issues have been adequately addressed.
Note: The Russian Pollock Sustainability Alliance includes leading brands, processors and buyers of fish products from across the world including: Delmar, FrOsta, Gorton’s, High Liner Foods, Iglo Foods Group, Pickenpack, Royal Greenland, Young’s Group, and the Russian Pollock Catchers Association.
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