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Sustainability notes

Recertification of fishery - October 2009 - October 2014

This is an overview of how the South Georgia Patagonian toothfish longline fishery scored in assessment against the MSC standard. For the certifiers evaluation please download the full public certification report with detailed information on the performance of this fishery against the criteria of the MSC environmental standard for sustainable fishing.

The fishery scored as follows in assessment against the MSC standard for sustainable fishing. The highest possible score for each principle is 100 and a fishery must score at least 80 against each principle to get certified: 

MSC Principle

Fishery Performance

Principle 1: Sustainability of Exploited Stock

Overall:  93, Pass

Principle 2: Maintenance of Ecosystem

Overall:  91, Pass

Principle 3: Effective Management System

Overall:  96, Pass


Sustainability strengths

Some points on which the fishery scored over 90 are outlined below. 

Principle 1: the state of the fish stock

  • There is a strong knowledge of the biology of toothfish. Including the life history, geographical range of the stock.
  • Data on key features of the fishery, including sources of mortality, gear selectivity and details of the fleet engaged in the fishery is comprehensive and provides a sound basis for management action.
  • Regulations to constrain harvest are well tested and effective.

Principle 2: the impact of the fishery on the marine environment

  • There is knowledge of all populations of protected species directly or indirectly related to the fishery.
  • Data on the extent of by-catch, discarding and un-observed mortality is detailed and provides a good basis for evaluating the impacts of the fishery.
  • Management strategies are in place to monitor, detect and reduce ecosystem impacts related to the fishery.

Principle 3: the fishery management systems

  • Key research needs in the fishery have been identified, and the Scientific Committee of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) regularly reviews the adequacy of information and research needs. CCAMLR's system allows for scientific papers to be tabled on new issues, which can then be addressed.

Initial certification - March 2004 - October 2009

This is an overview of how the South Georgia patagonian toothfish longline fishery scored in assessment against the MSC standard. For the certifiers evaluation please download the full public certification report with detailed information on the performance of this fishery against the criteria of the MSC environmental standard for sustainable fishing.

The fishery scored as follows in assessment against the MSC standard for sustainable fishing. The highest possible score for each principle is 100 and a fishery must score at least 80 against each principle to get certified:

MSC Principle

Fishery Performance

Principle 1: Sustainability of Exploited Stock

Overall:   89, Pass

Principle 2: Maintenance of Ecosystem

Overall:   81, Pass

Principle 3: Effective Management System

Overall:   90, Pass

 

Sustainability strengths

Some points on which the fishery scored over 90 are outlined below.

Principle 1: the state of the fish stock

  • The species is easily identified by the fishers and regulators.
  • Fishing methods and gear types are known throughout the fishery. Only long-line fishing is employed and the methods are verified by independent fishery observers.

Principle 2: the impact of the fishery on the marine environment

  • There is knowledge of all populations of protected species directly or indirectly related to the fishery.
  • British Antarctic Survey collects data for South Georgia seabirds affected by longlining.
  • The International Whaling Commission monitors whale populations.

Principle 3: the fishery management systems

  • Key research needs in the fishery have been identified, and the Scientific Committee of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) regularly reviews the adequacy of information and research needs. CCAMLR's system allows for scientific papers to be tabled on new issues, which can then be addressed.

Challenges

In order to ensure its continuing sustainable operation this fishery made a commitment to improving its performance where it scored between 60-80. Some of the actions the fishery has committed to are: 

  • Existing studies are to be reviewed and, where necessary, extended in order to demonstrate that the toothfish stock at South Georgia is sufficiently discrete that locally implemented management measures alone should be sufficient to ensure the sustainability of this stock.
  • Each vessel is to give an estimate of hooks discarded in fishery waste that are available to birds, this is primarily in the discard of fish heads.
  • A strategy or research plan should be developed to obtain reliable information on fishery-related impacts on rajid (skates and rays) populations.
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