Russian Far East pollock MSC approval process progresses
The 5th International Fishery Congress, held in Russian Far East port Vladivostok on Sept. 7-8, formed the backdrop to a number of meetings between the MSC client group, the Russian Pollock Catchers Association (PCA) and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) sponsored, Russian Far East Pollock Fishery Improvement Partnership (FIP).
The meetings and workshops reported a deeper understanding of the pollock fishery and progress made in the MSC assessment process.
A number of joint commitments were made by the PCA and FIP, whose participants include catchers, processors and brands.
These include Russian fishing giant NBAMR, Birds Eye Iglo Group, Delmar, Findus Group, Fishin' Company, FRoSTA, Gorton's, High Liner, Pickenpack, Royal Greenland, and the PCA.
Actions that were agreed to included individual and multilateral alignment programs to further promote and support the process of MSC certification of Russian Far East pollock.
The FIP participants reaffirmed continued support, welcomed the demonstrable progress, in what is universally accepted as a productive whitefish fishery of global importance.
"PCA is grateful for the assistance provided by the international buyers comprising FIP in promoting Russian pollock fishery to the global market as a sustainably managed fishery," said German Zverev, President of PCA. "PCA fully recognizes the importance of works towards certifying the Russian Pollock fisheries to the MSC standard."
On Sept. 17, PCA finished preparation of submissions on both Sea of Okhotsk and West-Bering Sea and forwarded them to the certification body - Moody Marine Ltd. We now have the plans in place for the site visit of expert team members already."
Director General of NBAMR Peter Savchuk also welcomed the progress.
"Russian fishers are getting well aware of the international market sustainability requirements," said Savchuk.
"We fully support the world-wide trend in sustainable fisheries development and are committed to looking after our stocks for the future. Talking about MSC certification of Russian Pollock, together with other Russian companies, PCA members and our international partners have made huge progress including removing bureaucratic barriers and improving the understanding of the MSC process by the Russian fishery regulators. As a result we look very positive on the future of the certification."
Bird Eye Iglo Chief Technical Officer Peter Hajipieris commended the work done in the Russian fishery to move toward sustainability.
"We have worked hard to support the PCA in their efforts and moves towards demonstrating the sustainability credentials of this globally important fishery and wish to thank all the FIP members for their support in this process," said Hajipieris.
Jim Cannon, CEO of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, said the industry and "supply chain working in collaboration has delivered significant improvement in this fishery during the past two years.
"It is vitally important that the Russian pollock fishery continues its drive towards MSC certification," said Cannon. "The consumer confidence that will flow from this in many major markets will benefit everyone in the industry, from catchers to processors and retailers. All those contributing to the SFP project are happy to play a role in achieving that aim."
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