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Longline Fishery Association has entered the final stage of certification against MSC standards
20 september 2019
The certifying company which assesses the LFA is now accepting comment and suggestions to the final report on Pacific cod and Pacific halibut fisheries assessment.
The Longline Fishery Association (LFA) includes 11 fishing companies with a total fleet of 30 vessels. The members of LFA fish for cod and halibut in the northern part of the Pacific ocean as well as in the Barents Sea. However, only fisheries of the Bering Sea are in the focus of assessment in this case.
In 2014 WWF-Russia and LFA signed an agreement which introduced the top-notch sustainability principles in longline fishing. From 2014 to 2017, scientists and environmentalists conducted a number of workshops for the ship crew members both in Kamchatka and Primorye regions. A field guide was published which helps sailor to identify and report sea birds encounters during fishing process. The mutual activity is aimed to modernize the monitoring system, to introduce modern software and control methods of fishing operations, to implement seabird mitigation technologies.
The implementation of streamer lines on all vessels of LFA is the key point on the way to reduce the seabird bycatch and an essential requirement for certification against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) environmental standards. Streamer lines are the most effective mitigation device nowadays. Seabirds tend to attack longline snoods with baited hooks usually getting themselves caught which is fatal. According to researchers, a double streamer line reduces the number of bird attacks by 90%.
"The major part of the longline fishing vessels of the companies which are the members of LFA is equipped with single and double streamer lines. These measures not only help to reduce the seabird mortality but also to increase catch per unit of effort which turns in favor of fishermen. The longline fishing is the major threat to rare species such as short-tailed albatross due to its low population level. These birds were considered to be at the edge of extinction a while ago. Nowadays, scientists admit that the population of short-tailed albatrosses demonstrates uplift. The implementation of streamer lines is one of the main causes we see the positive trend," said Sergey Korostelev, the Sustainable Marine Fishing Program coordinator with WWF-Russia's Kamchatka Ecoregional Office.
The comments and suggestions deadline is October 3.
the image in the head and the preview of the article - © Mikhail Goryunov / WWF-Russia