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Key fishmeal fishery looks to raise its sustainability game

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
22 February 2022, at 12:01am

One of southeast Asia’s key sources of fishmeal and fish oil – the Vung Tau multispecies trawl fishery – is planning to improve its sustainability metrics.

A trawler in Vietnam
A trawler in Vietnam

© andyan1992 / Shutterstock

The fishery, which is based in southern Vietnam, has been accepted onto the MarinTrust Improver Programme (IP) as part of the multispecies pilot.

It is the second fisheries improvement project (FIP) accepted onto the IP as part of the multispecies pilot project, following the Gulf of Thailand mixed-trawl FIP. It is led by Kim Delta consultants on behalf of the Fishmeal and Fish Oil Association of Ba Ria (Ba Ria - Vung Tau province). Along with other multispecies fisheries, this application will help with the testing of criteria to measure improvements in complex multispecies fisheries and enable producers of marine ingredients to demonstrate their commitment towards responsibly sourced raw materials.

Nicola Clark, impacts manager at MarinTrust, explained: “The objective of the multispecies criteria is to enable the assessment of highly complex fisheries in which sometimes hundreds of species are regularly caught. The criteria have been developed by experts and are based on ‘best practice’ fisheries management as specified in international norms and guidance including the 1982 Convention of the law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

“The pilot project is enabling MarinTrust to test the methodology in active fisheries so it can be refined and ultimately develop a fully robust and realistic set of criteria to eventually include within the full MarinTrust fishery assessment.”

“The recognition of MarinTrust for all the efforts FIP Vung Tau partner members in past years will hopefully realise the dreams of having open fishery data sources and initiating more FIPs in Southern Vietnam. We believe this to be critical for the new era of collaboration of fisheries in the region,” said Kim Thanh, FIP coordinator for the Vung Tau trawl fishery, in a press release.

During the improver programme and pilot project process, the fishery will have to meet a series of time-bound improvement milestones, specific to the fishery action plan, demonstrating positive improvements within the fishery with the ultimate aim to apply for full MarinTrust Approval once all the improvements have been implemented.