Decision on objections to Australian orange roughy fishery in assessment

Independent adjudicator issues decision on objections to Australian orange roughy fishery’s potential MSC certification

Published 7 January 2021, last updated 12 January 2021.

Assessor must reconsider national legislation

The independent adjudicator for the formal objections process to the potential certification to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Fisheries Standard of the Australia orange roughy - eastern zone trawl fishery has published their findings.  

The adjudicator reached their decision after a formal hearing with the fishery, the independent assessment body, and the objectors in November 2020.   

After weeks of careful consideration, one of the objections has been upheld by the adjudicator. This relates to orange roughy being a species classified as conservation dependent under Australia’s national legislation.  

The assessment body, MRAG Americas, must present its response on this to the adjudicator by Friday 19 February 2021.  The objectors and the fishery then have until Friday 26 February to comment on any proposed action, before the independent adjudicator considers whether the matter has been adequately dealt with.    

The independent adjudicator’s findings are the latest stage in an ongoing process which started in October 2019, when the fishery entered assessment for MSC certification.   

Dr Rohan Currey, Chief Science and Standards Officer at the MSC said:   

“The orange roughy fishery in Australia is currently still in the independent adjudication process, with its certification status yet to be established as we await the response from the independent assessment body.  

We are grateful for and acknowledge the contributions from all parties from the fishery, the independent assessment body, participating conservation organisations and independent adjudicator involved in this consultative phase to ensure impartiality, rigour and credibility of this voluntary third-party certification scheme.  

Ultimately, our mission is to ensure a certified fishery demonstrates unequivocal commitment towards sustainability as set forth in the MSC standard and its process requirements.”  
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