Portuguese fishery gets MSC certificate reinstated

Anoperco has ensured that the sardine stock has recovered. Photo:Tewy Anoperco has ensured that the sardine stock has recovered. Photo:Tewy

Portuguese sardine fishery, Anopcerco, has had its MSC certification reinstated following a positive audit, conducted by independent certifier, Intertek Moody Marine.

The fishery’s certification was suspended in January 2012 as a result of an International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) assessment which revealed that the sardine stock had fallen below acceptable sustainable levels and there was a lack of appropriate harvest controls.

A Sardine Commission has agreed upon several measures to address the issues and after the third surveillance report, conducted in December 2012, Intertek concluded that all milestones have been met.

In order to be reinstated as MSC sustainable, Anopcerco was required to provide evidence of the recovery of the stock, an effective harvest strategy and harvest control rules and tools, a strategy to, manage the impacts on Endangered, Threatened or Protected (ETP) species and stable management of the fishery.

Humberto Manuel B Jorge, president, Anopcerco, said: “Anopcerco welcomes Moody’s decision and is grateful to all our partners for their hard work and effort that allowed the reinstatement of the desired and deserved MSC certification.”

Nicolas Guidoux, regional director, MSC, added: “The reinstatement of the certificate today is testament to the commitment of all parties to improve the management of the fishery, and tackle the underlying causes of suspension last year. Together, the fishery and its partners on the Sardine Commission have helped secure the future of this vital marine resource and so contribute to the environmental and economic health of the region.”

The fishery is due to be assessed again in January 2014, which will be its fourth surveillance audit.

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