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MSC Certificate for Sardine Fishery Suspended

Welfare Sustainability Post-harvest +4 more

PORTUGAL - Following the surveillance audit carried out in December 2011, Moody Marine Intertek has suspended the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification of the Portuguese sardine purse seine fishery.

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The suspension takes effect from 12 January 2012, and has the following impact:

  • fish caught after 12 January cannot be described and sold as MSC certified or carry the MSC ecolabel
  • however, fish caught before 12 January deadline may still bear the MSC ecolabel provided it complies with MSC Chain of Custody requirements for traceability and separation.

Next steps for the Portuguese sardine purse seine fishery

The fishery has 90 days to work with its certifier to put in place a suitable action plan to address the reason for suspension. If the certification body approves the action plan, the fishery will remain suspended while the corrective measures are being implemented.

Failure to put a suitable plan in place will result in the fishery having its certificate withdrawn at the end of the 90 days.

Reason for the suspension and suspension requirements

The audit report finds that, because of the sardine stock status (as described in the most recent ICES report) and an absence of appropriate harvest controls, the fishery no longer conforms to the MSC fisheries standard. The fishery now has 90 days to work with Moody Marine Intertek to put in place a plan to introduce corrective measures.