Intertek Moody Marine and Fishery Certification
Fish production presents many serious challenges for the sustainable use and management of the world's oceans - overfishing and the impact on marine habitats are two xamples. This is becoming a major concern to the public and to many within the seafood industry.
Fishery certification is seen as a way of identifying those fisheries which meet high environmental and management standards. This in turn, allows companies that catch, process, or buy the fish to achieve 'corporate social responsibility' aims. It also harnesses consumer power to provide market incentives to improve environmental and management standards and performance.
The MSC fishery certification process provides a comprehensive and detailed assessment of a fishery. The detailed nature of the assessment process and extensive consultation with stakeholders means that the process takes approximately 12 months. The following diagram provides a brief description of the steps that are followed:
- A client appoints Intertek Moody Marine to undertake a confidential pre-assessment of their fishery.
- The pre-assessment indicates how close the fishery is to meeting the MSC standard and provides appropriate recommendations.
- If the client wishes to proceed, Intertek Moody Marine assembles an expert team to assess the fishery against the MSC standard.
- A report is written, peer reviewed and is subject to public consultation and comment.
- Draft reports are peer reviewed and provided for public stakeholder consultation.
- Intertek Moody Marine reviews the results of the assessment report, the peer review and public comment and concludes whether the fishery meets the MSC standard.
- The conclusion is posted on the MSC website as a final opportunity for public comment.
- If there is no objection the fishery is certified.
- If there is an objection which cannot be satisfied then the MSC convenes an objections panel and provides a final decision.
Clients for Seafood Industry Certification may be fishing associations, governments, fish processors / wholesalers or environmental organisations.
Intertek Moody Marine has certified large and small scale fisheries around the world.
Three examples include:
The South Georgia Patagonian Toothfish Fishery
The fisheries for Patagonian Toothfish (also known as Chilean sea bass) have gained a reputation for illegal fishing and the accidental capture of seabirds such as albatross. Intertek Moody Marine's client, the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, applied for MSC certification to demonstrate the effectiveness of their management system. Following an exhaustive evaluation, Intertek Moody Marine was able to determine that the fishery met the MSC fishery standard. Certification has delivered real market benefits to the fishing companies involved.
The Pacific Albacore Tuna Fishery
The American Albacore Fishing Association is a relatively small, family run fishery operating out of San Diego, California, USA. Using pole/troll and line the Association's 21 vessels catch 3-4,000 tonnes of tuna a year. It is the first tuna fishery to be certified and the Association has reported that since certification there has been increased interest and outlets for their product.
The South African Hake Trawl Fishery
The hake fishery is the largest single component of the South African whitefish trawl fisheries. Following a period of sustained heavy fishing in the latter half of the 20th Century, the hake stock was showing signs of a significant decline. Prompted by this, the South African Government implemented a series of management initiatives to rebuild the stock. Certification provides confirmation of the effectiveness of the management system, points the way to areas of further improvement and provides a basis for the fishery to obtain competitive advantage with environmentally conscious customers.
Intertek Moody Marine and Chain of Custody
When a fishery is certified, this is the starting point for downstream MSC "chain of custody" certification for the handling, processing, distribution and eventual consumption by the general public.
MSC chain of custody certification provides assurance of traceability of fish carrying the MSC logo back to the certified fishery.
Intertek Moody Marine is an accredited MSC chain of custody certifier with clients in restaurant, retail, processing, wholesale and food service sectors.