Aker Biomarine Antarctic krill fishery has earned the right to bear the MSC label on its products. (Photo: Aker Biomarine)
Aker Biomarine Antarctic krill fishery meets MSC standard
Wednesday, May 26, 2010, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
An Independent Adjudicator confirmed on Tuesday that the Aker BioMarine Antarctic krill fishery will receive certification by the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) for fulfilling its high standard of sustainability.
Eldon VC Greenberg’s confirmation of third-party certifier Moody Marine Ltd’s determination and thus his decision not to uphold the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition’s (ASOC) objection to the certification decision last October finalises the objection process.
“I conclude that Moody has cured the procedural defect identified in my remand of 5 May,” Greenberg said.
“In particular, Moody has not made a clear error of fact, failed to consider material information or otherwise made a determination so arbitrary or unreasonable that no reasonable certification body could have reached such a determination on the available evidence,” he continued.
On 21 April, Greenberg upheld Moody Marine’s decision on seven of the 12 indicators challenged, and asked Moody Marine to review the five remaining indicators.
Moody Marine then rescored three out of the five indicators and added an extra condition to the certification decision.
On 5 May, the Independent Adjudicator accepted Moody Marine’s rescoring and demanded further explanation on its ‘no change’ decision on the remaining two; Moody Marine issued its explanation the following day.
Greenberg’s final call follows his consideration of ASOC’s 18 May response to Moody Marine’s determination and explanations.
The Moody Marine assessment team attached three conditions to the decision to certify the fishery, which will support the continued development of improved scientific understanding of the impact of potential fishing upon krill and other species. As part of the original certification decision, the two conditions are:
- Condition 1 – within one year of certification the fishery must further test the catch limits instituted to increase understanding of impacts on krill and other associated species
- Condition 2 - the fishery must assess the risk that catches of larval fish are too high and, if so, to slash the level of larval fish catch
Moody Marine attached a third condition to in response to the Independent Adjudicator’s remand:
- Condition 3 – the client must provide data to assist the ongoing development of measures that further lower the risk of significant localised krill depletion and to apply measures as needed within four years of certification
Annual surveillance audits will monitor progress against these conditions, plus other aspects of the fishery’s performance against the MSC standard.
If total krill catches near 620,000 tonnes, the certifier will run an expedited audit to review whether the fishery’s performance ensures continued conformance with the MSC standard.
The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) manages the krill fishery. At current levels, fishing pressure on this fishery is very low: less than 1 per cent of the most recently estimated biomass.
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By Natalia Real