Toothfish rating up according to Seafood Watch

10 Apr 2013
Toothfish is now a more sustainable choice, according to Seafood Watch

Toothfish is now a more sustainable choice, according to Seafood Watch

An independent review has found that more toothfish fisheries are rated as either ‘Best Choice’ or ‘Good Alternative’, up from its previous ratings of ‘Avoid’.

Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program is a source of information for North American consumers and businesses seeking information about environmentally responsible seafood choices.

Dr Tom Pickerell, senior science manager at Seafood Watch, said that the assessment took almost a year and went through a rigorous process which included all findings being per reviewed.

A major collaborative to eliminate IUU toothfish fishing was started 15 years ago, and there has been a 95% decline in IUU catches of Patagonian toothfish since then. There are remnants of IUU fishing for Antarctic toothfish in high seas areas of the Indian Ocean, outside national jurisdictional controls, which are still being addressed.

In Chile the use of bird mitigation measures on longline fishing vessels reduced the bycatch of albatross to zero. In New Zealand, development of integrated weighting line virtually eliminated seabird bycatch for auto-line toothfish vessels, globally.

The positive outcomes from the Monterey Bay Aquarium confirm separate independent reviews of toothfish fisheries, including by national governments, the 25 member-nation resource conservation agency CCAMLR, and by the Marine Stewardship Council.

Martin Exel, chair of the Coalition of Legal Toothfish Operators (COLTO), said that “...Collaboration between industry and conservation, working with scientists and managers to address problems, has produced extraordinary results. It’s one of the most exciting outcomes in global fisheries – a model of how well fisheries management actions can work.”

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