Cloudy Bay Clams (Photo Credit: Cloudy Bay Clams)
Friend of the Sea certifies Cloudy Bay Clams fishery
Tuesday, February 19, 2013, 00:40 (GMT + 9)
Cloudy Bay Clams has successfully undergone both fishery and chain of custody audit and its surf clams can now carry Friend of the Sea (FOS) international sustainability seal of approval.
The audited fishing vessels for storm clam (Mactra murchisoni), diamond (Spisula aequilatera) and moon shell (Dosinia anus) and Tua Tua (Paphies donacinia), were found to be compliant with all Friend of the Sea criteria for sustainable fishery.
The target stocks in the three identified fishing areas (within FMA 7 and FMA 3 on the north-east coast of the South Island of New Zealand), are not overexploited and overfishing is not occurring.
The Total Allowed Catch (TAC) is set and monitored by both the company and the Ministry of Primary Industry (MPI). Based on stock assessments and the results of fisheries monitoring, quotas are allocated for each FMA every year.
The clams are harvested from a sandy substrate along the coastline. The fishing method is based on a hydraulic winnowing clam rake, designed and developed by the company itself. The Clam Rake mesh is 10mm Dia and no nets are used.
The use of water jets is designed to maximize catch, minimize mortality of clams and minimize the effects of dragging the dredge through the sand. The only by-catch is the occasional paddle crab which represents less than 1 per cent of the catch. If alive and unharmed, they are returned to sea.
Fishing is not allowed in protected areas. GPS records of the area harvested were available for every single vessel. Marine GPS tracking and navigation systems are fitted to all vessels supplying Cloudy Bay Clams, thus making all fishing trips traceable.
Fishing areas are harvested in ‘paddocks’ within the designated fishing (QMA) areas. The downloading of this data is automated and hence unequivocal and non-forgeable.
According to NZ legislation, all of the catch is recorded on the Catch Landing Effort Return (CLER) as well as any discards on the vessel (e.g., return of undersized live clams to sea) and brought onshore. Accurate data and information on every catch reporting fishing area, time, and quantity are available. Reporting activity is subject to MPI auditing.
Waste and energy management systems are in place and implemented.
"Friend of the Sea certification confirms our efforts and continuous commitment to sustainability" explained Mike Ponder, Cloudy Bay Clams General Manager, "and it represents an important added value for our product".