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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Kiwi companies vying for green fish
Two New Zealand fishing companies are vying to be among the first to establish their green credentials in one of the worlds most remote fishing grounds.
Antarctic toothfish stocks have been plundered by pirate fishing boats that head to the Southern Ocean as fish diminish in more accessible waters.
The New Zealand Government has vowed to get tough on the poachers and each summer sends Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion aircraft on surveillance flights over the Ross Sea.
Now New Zealand Long Line, a division of Sealord, and Sanford New Zealand have joined forces with British-based Argos to get the right to put an eco-label on the toothfish they catch in the Ross Sea area, giving them an edge with consumers wanting to avoid pirated or unsustainably harvested fish.
Greg Johansson, of Sanford, said the Ross Sea fishery was managed conservatively and successfully under the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, which set quotas, monitored catches and decided on technical conservation regulation. Others from the 21 companies that fish in the region will be able to join the group seeking certification, which is expected to take more than a year to complete.
The companies goal is certification to the Marine Stewardship Councils (MSC) environmental standard, earning them the MSCs blue eco-label to show consumers that the fish have been caught in a responsible way and come from a sustainable fishery.
The move was welcomed by Duncan Leadbitter, MSC director for the Asia-Pacific region, who said it would help ensure sensitive and vulnerable species get the best ecosystem-based management available.
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