The fisherys MSC certificate was suspended in January 2012 as a consequence of an ICES assessment which showed that the sardine stock had fallen below the acceptable sustainable level.
This meant that the fishery could no longer meet the MSC standard, and so its certification was suspended. In order for the suspension to be lifted, and the fishery to be able to resume certification, it must be able to show that the action plan put in place in April 2012 is successfully addressing the causes of the suspension.
The surveillance audit will therefore have three main goals:
- To review the documentation that the fishery has presented in support of the lifting of the suspension of the certification.
- To review any changes in the management of the fishery, including regulations, key management or scientific staff, or stock evaluation.
- To evaluate the progress of the fishery against any conditions of certification raised during the full assessment
If the conclusion of the surveillance audit is positive, the suspension will be lifted. If it concludes that the fishery doesnt meet the MSC standard yet, the fishery will remain suspended and will continue implementing the measures set out in the action plan.
The audits report is expected to be ready by mid January 2013 and will be published on the MSC website
In the event the certificate cannot be reinstated in January 2013, certification will be reinstated as soon as the certification body has evidence of recovery of the stock. This evidence may be provided by the analysis of ICES (International Council for Exploration of the Sea) scheduled for July 2013.