A collective of retailers and supply chain businesses has launched a ‘policy fisheries improvement project (FIP)’ to help secure the sustainable management of blue whiting in the North Atlantic.
The FIP covers blue whiting in FAO area 27 and subareas 1–9, 12 and 14. Blue whiting fisheries from these areas lost their MSC certifications in December 2020 because of ongoing disagreements between coastal states which led to unilateral quota-setting. This, says the North Atlantic Pelagic Advocacy Group, is leading to annual catches exceeding levels needed to ensure the sustainability of the species by 30%.
Loss of MSC certification and the consequential loss of MarinTrust certification is also having a major impact on businesses which rely on sustainable marine ingredients in feed. “We are calling on the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission coastal states to agree quotas in line with scientific advice and implement a long-term science-based management plan for blue whiting,” said Napa member, Skretting Norway.
“Should progress falter, or the FIP fail, we will continue our stand to not source fishmeal containing uncertified blue whiting.”
Napa is calling on coastal states to follow advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, implement management plans, resolve allocation issues and implement a dispute resolution process.