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Sardine MSC Certification Helps Market Access

MEXICO - The Director General of Fisheries Management and Aquaculture of the National Commission of Aquaculture and Fisheries (CONAPESCA), Hilario Perez Figueroa, commented that 2011 has seen its sardine fishery recertified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), a move which has and will improve product marketing and reach international markets.

He clarified that the recertification was obtained after more than five years of work between the CONAPESCA agency, the National Fisheries Institute (INAPESCA), the National Chamber of Fisheries (CANAINPESCA), producers and other agencies led to the development of a sustainable fisheries for the care of the species and the marine ecosystem.

He said the orderly management of small pelagic fisheries (mainly sardines) is recognised for helping to improve the health of the oceans for the benefit of nature and society, including fishermen and consumers.

In this context, the CONAPESCA generates new management policies that encourage human consumption and sustainability of the fishery. These policies include a fisheries management programme with its fisheries management plan, the induction of marketing and consumption of sardines, new products, new presentations and modernisation of the fleet, among others.

To achieve this, these were some of the lines of action: update the regulatory framework regarding minimum sizes and technical specifications for the product management board, scientific observer programme on board, reducing coordination with the industry and increased investment public and private.

For these new management policies to succeed, Mr Perez Figueroa said it requires cooperation or support of the fishing industry, business and federal government to encourage domestic consumption.

Lucy Towers

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