Public comment period on the recommendation of Marine Stewardship Council ecocertification for BC’s commercial pink salmon fisheries open until January 20, 2011
Moody International Inc. has recommended to the UK-based Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) that BC’s commercial pink salmon fisheries be certified as sustainably managed, so they can carry the MSC’s blue ecologo. The draft public report (3.5 MB) is available here, and comments on the report can be sent to the certifier, Steve Devitt (firstname.lastname@example.org) until 9am, January 20, 2011. There are serious bycatch problems in BC’s pink salmon fisheries and Watershed Watch is working with our friends at SkeenaWild Conservation Trust, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, and David Suzuki Foundation, to provide detailed comments to the certifier.
We remain highly critical of how the Marine Stewardship Council conducts its affairs. Earlier this year the MSC certified BC’s sockeye salmon fisheries, despite chronic overfishing that according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, has put several populations of sockeye salmon in BC at risk of extinction. It is now likely that BC sockeye from endangered populations will end up in grocery stores with an ecologo indicating that they are sustainably managed. Conflict of interest is at the root of the problem. Under the MSC’s procedures, fishing industry “clients” directly choose and hire a so-called “third-party certifier” that they want to assess the sustainability of their fishery. Out of the 100 fisheries worldwide that are now MSC-certified, only one – a tuna fishery – has ever been failed by one of these for-profit certification companies.
For more information on Watershed Watch’s work related to MSC certifications and a listing of associated media releases and background materials see our Fisheries Management page.