The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has backed the sustainability of Norwegian firm Aker Biomarine’s Antarctic krill fishing activities, with improved scores.
MSC’s lengthy report, which took 18 months to compile and is here , praised Aker on several grounds including:
- Responsible catch volumes.
- Use of specialised nets meant negligible by-catch and interaction with other species.
- Well-functioning management regime and enforcement system for the fishery, with observers having 100% access to boats and facilities.
The review, which is due every five years under the terms of the certification scheme, is open for public comment until September 13 this year.
"I think this re-certification strengthens our commitment to sustainability and the high standards set by MSC," said said Aker sustainability director Sigve Nordrum in a statement.
"We invite all stakeholders to review the report and offer feedback as necessary."
Nordrum noted the company had improved its performance in key areas with no area performing worse for the omega-3 and phospholipid source.
“We are pleased with the results of the re-certification process and think the report puts the krill fishery in a very positive light.”
The assessment featured input from the likes of the World Wildlife Fund Norway, Greenpeace and the British Antarctic Survey.
Boat skippers, scientists, fishery protection officers, NGOs, fishery managers and technical support staff were also involved.
After a comment period a final report is due.
In addition to the five-year review Aker’s krill fishing activities are also subject to annual audits.
The central krill fishery management body is the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), which sets catch quotas for various species.
Under CCAMLR management the krill harvest in 2012 was 157,000 tons, below the cautionary trigger level of 640,000 tons for any environmental concern with krill or other species like seals and marine birds that prey on krill.