Pollock Catchers Association

Public Union
of Russian Fishery Companies

Russian Pollock Sustainability Alliance welcomes MSC Independent Adjudicator decision to uphold MSC certification of Russian Sea of Okhotsk Pollock Fishery


Russian Pollock Sustainability Alliance welcomes MSC Independent Adjudicator decision to uphold MSC certification of Russian Sea of Okhotsk Pollock Fishery

September 17th, 2013

On September 16th 2013, it was announced that the MSC Independent Adjudicator has upheld the determination of the Certification Body Intertek Moody Marine to certify the Mid-water Trawl Pollock Fishery in the Sea of Okhotsk.

Earlier in February, the Conformance Assessment Body (CAB) Intertek Moody Marine recommended the Sea of Okhotsk Pollock fishery for the MSC certification. The determination was followed by two Notices of Objection filed by the At-Sea Processors Association and WWF Smart Fishing Initiative.

Within the adjudication procedure, the MSC Client, the Russian Pollock Catchers Association and the WWF Smart Fishing Initiative agreed to make some specific adjustments to the Conditions and the Client Action Plan that enabled WWF to withdraw their objection and thus support the certification of the Sea of Okhotsk Pollock fishery.

The other objector, the At Sea Processors Association (APA), rejected any opportunities for a resolution and insisted on a revision of the CAB’s decision on four separate occasions: firstly, submitting initial notice of objection; secondly, at the International Adjudication hearing on May 31st at the MSC headquarters in London; then in a second response to the CAB’s 54 pages of rationale to answer the IA’s remand; and finally, in a submission of September 2nd 2013. 

Intertek Moody Marine’s position has been to uphold their original determination that the Sea of Okhotsk meets the MSC standard.

On September 16th 2013, the Independent Adjudicator announced his decision accepting changes to the certification report suggested by the CAB in a response to the remand decision, and upholding the MSC certification of the Russian Sea of Okhotsk Pollock fishery.   

“… the CAB’s determination has been subjected to close scrutiny and, as a result of the objections process, the amended determination will be a far more robust document”, -  concluded the MSC Independent Adjudicator, Michael Lodge.

“Over the last few years, the Intertek Moody Marine assessment team reviewed the SOO fishery and Russian fishery management system with a detailed scrutiny having access to all information and support from the national management agencies.We have also accepted the MSC requirements and have been working as hard as anyone to understand them and to integrate them within our own unique Russian fisheries management system.

Now we are pleased that the Independent Adjudicator supported the Intertek Moody Marine determination to certify the Sea of Okhotsk Pollock fishery to the MSC standard as a sustainable and well-managed fishery”, - said PCA ChairmanGerman Zverev.

Sea of Okhotsk Pollock is a symbolic fishery inside Russia. With an average annual catch of about 850 thousand tonnes, the fishery represents 20% of Russia’s total annual white fisheries catch and is recognized as one of the largest fisheries in the world. 

The Sea of Okhotsk Unit of Certification includes the Northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk Mid-water trawl fishery (Northern Sea of Okhotsk, Kamchatka-Kuril, and West Kamchatka subzones). The fishery certificate will be eligible for the PCA Client group member companies and vessels.

The MSC journey of the Russian Sea of Okhotsk Pollock fishery started in 2008 and turned into the largest sustainable fisheries project in Russia.

During the MSC assessment process, the Sea of Okhotsk Pollock fishery has shown great progress, improving the fisheries management and science to meet the requirements of the MSC standard and making history in improving the transparency of the fisheries management within Russia for the international fisheries stakeholder community.

To help stakeholders in the MSC program, the PCA went beyond what is normally expected of MSC Clients and posted all relevant fisheries data and information references used in the assessment and the scoring process according to the actual MSC Principles structure into the public domain where stakeholders can review them and become better acquainted with the Sea of Okhtosk fishery.

The Russian Pollock Sustainability Alliance’s Companies congratulated the Russian Pollock Catchers Association on the news that the Independent Adjudicator has supported the Intertek Moody Marine decision to certify the Russian Pollock Sea of Okhotsk fishery towards MSC standard. The Pollock Catchers Association have worked with the Russian Pollock Sustainability Alliance Companies in a sustainable fisheries development project that has made history for Russian fisheries and within the MSC programme.

Peter Hajipieris, Chief Technical & Sustainability Officer from Iglo Foods Group, said on behalf of the Russian Pollock Sustainability Alliance Companies (RPSA) Companies:

“The PCA deserve tremendous credit for their vision and determination to overcome numerous obstacles to certify the Sea of Okhotsk. They have worked tirelessly with the Russian Pollock Federal Fisheries Agencies to show that the Sea of Okhotsk Pollock fishery should benchmark to the MSC standard.

We are all very pleased for them and for the positive effect that this will have for the fish industry. The Russian Sea of Okhotsk is a fishery of great importance to all who want to have long term viable and sustainable fisheries.

The Russian Pollock Sustainability Alliance Companies would also like to express sincere gratitude for the collaboration that the Russian Federal Fisheries Agency has shown to support this project and in particular for the expertise and extensive support that TINRO and Dr. Bocharov’s team of scientists have offered throughout the assessment process.

The wider MSC and fisheries stakeholder community will continue to benefit from a better and more transparent understanding of Russian Pollock fisheries management”.

Within a 5-year certificate period, the PCA have committed to implement some improvements to the fishery specified in the Client Action Plan. The improvements will deal with stock assessment modeling, at-sea observer and monitoring program, data collection on by-catch, and ETP interaction.

The Alliance Companies have agreed to support the PCA with their MSC Client Action Plan now that it has been agreed with the CAB, Intertek Moody, following the adjudication process. 

Now, the CAB Intertek Moody Marine is expected to publish the Public Certification Report, flowing which, the Sea of Okhotsk Pollock fishery will be officially MSC certified. 


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. 


Please contact: PCA Executive Director, Alexey Buglak on email: al.buglak@mail.ru


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