Last week, the Pew Environment Group urged members to oppose the assessment of the Southeast North Atlantic swordfish, yellowfin and bigeye tuna fisheries based in Florida.
Jim Humphries, Regional Director of the Americas, for the Marine Stewardship has said that whilst stakeholder input is welcomed, full information must be made available to the public.
He said that as assessment had only just begun, it would be premature to reach any conclusion about longline fishing and effects from the Gulf oil spill.
"These two issues of particular concern to those campaigning are among many issues associated with the fishery that will be studied by the independent certification team during assessment. When a fishery participates in the MSC programme, they agree to be assessed against the MSC’s rigorous environmental standard, which will consider the impact on sea turtle and other bycatch. And while the issue of food safety is under the jurisdiction of government agencies, the assessment will examine potential impact from the oil spill on stock health."
The MSC does not conduct the fishery assessment and the MSC remains impartial throughout the process, which is crucial to preserving the trust and reliability that come from an independent, third-party assessment, and maintaining the global credibility of the MSC certification programme.
All assessments against the Marine Stewardship Council’s internationally recognised environmental standard for wild capture fisheries are conducted by independent, accredited certifiers who recruit a team of scientific experts with the relevant expertise and experience to review that specific fishery. In this case, the certifier is MRAG Americas.
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