Russian longline fisheries sign contracts for MSC assessment

The Russian Longline Fishery Association (LFA) has signed contracts with certifier Marine Certification for the MSC assessment for its two fisheries in the Russian Far East.

The contract for assessment of the Pacific cod and Pacific halibut was signed at the Global Seafood Expo 2016 in Brussels.

The Russian LFA was established in February 2013 to unite the interests of Russian fishing companies involved in longline fisheries. One of the Association’s objectives is development and conduct of sustainable fisheries in Russia, in particular, in longline fishing for Pacific cod and Pacific halibut.

After the LFA was established, it began a fishery improvement project on 31 May 2013 with the support of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP).

In the Russian Far East the Association companies operate 19 longline fishing vessels. Target longline fisheries for both species take place in the same fishing areas of the Bering Sea, but in different seasons and at different depth. In 2015 catches by LFA members were 14,250 metric tonnes of cod and 1,802 tonnes of halibut.

“We have had a long journey to this event and during that time we built extensive links with scientists and non-governmental organisations,” Mikhail Zaitsev, President of the LFA.

“We expect to continue the cooperation with our partners during the evaluation process and work on possible conditions.”

The MSC has welcomed the Russian Pacific cod and halibut fisheries to the program.

"I’m delighted that these fisheries have taken this important step towards MSC certification", said Camiel Derichs, MSC’s European Director.

"The assessments will be a good way for the industry to demonstrate their sustainability and for scientists, management authorities and eNGO stakeholders to look into the sustainability of these fisheries and participate in the evaluation by the Conformity Assessment Body’s expert team. We wish Longline Fishery Association all the best during the public assessment process."

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