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With the catch share program in place, almost none of the trawl-caught groundfish being sorted here will be discarded (Photo: NOAA)

No Overfishing - Guaranteed

  (UNITED STATES, 11/7/2012)

When West Coast groundfish fishermen switched to a 100 percent monitored fishery management system last year, they immediately shouldered new costs of carrying federal observers who document their catch and gather important scientific data.

Although observer costs are currently shared with the federal government, that arrangement is slated to end in January 2015, when the projected observer day-rate of USD 400-600 will be borne entirely by fishermen.

This leaves many fishermen in a tight spot. While federal observers ensure the high quality data essential to a sustainable fishery, added costs could mean the difference between a successful fishing business and one that no longer exists.

The colourful label has a flag-like look and reads: “100% Federal at-Sea Monitoring: No Overfishing – Guaranteed”

What can West Coast processors, distributors, retailers and consumers do to support fishermen as they adapt to their new, sustainable fishing practices? They can ask about the “No Overfishing – Guaranteed” label.

Giovanni Comin
of Central Coast Seafood

Giovanni Comin of Central Coast Seafood, Huff McGonigal, a consultant with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), and David Crabbe, a member of the Pacific Fishery Management Council, spearheaded the new label.

“Fishermen are in a bind because they’re doing the right thing,” says Crabbe. “They’ve made a commitment to fully accountable fishing practices, and we were looking for ways to help leverage that commitment in the marketplace.”

The colourful label has a flag-like look and reads: “100% Federal at-Sea Monitoring: No Overfishing – Guaranteed.” It includes a Quick Response (QR) Code that buyers can use to access the label’s supporting website.

Huff McGonigal, 
Environmental Defense Fund

Comin plans to label all the catch share-caught fish that goes out of Central Coast’s Atascadero, California plant as well as the Santa Monica Seafood plant in Rancho Dominguez (Central Coast is a division of Santa Monica Seafood).

He is encouraging other West Coast processors to follow his lead and will be meeting with California seafood retailers to encourage them to display the label and educate customers about the many pluses of the new groundfish management plan.

“It’s been great helping to put this together,” said Comin. “The 100 percent federally observed catch share program provides consumers the highest level of confidence that their purchase was harvested in a responsible, sustainable manner. With traceability and monitoring throughout the harvest process, integrity and accountability are preserved at the highest standards possible.”

About the Environmental Defense Fund

West Coast groundfish      fishermen

Environmental Defense Fund is a leading national nonprofit organization representing more than 700,000 members.

Since 1967, EDF has linked science, economics and law to create innovative, equitable and cost-effective solutions to society's most urgent environmental problems.

Environmental Defense Fund is dedicated to protecting the environmental rights of all people, including future generations.

Among these rights are access to clean air and water, healthy and nourishing food, and flourishing ecosystems. 

Related News
 
Source: EDF

Margaret E.L. Stacey
Editor Companies and Products

[email protected]
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