‘Deeply disappointed’: Scottish fishermen blow up Young’s Seafood over threats of pelagic supply

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The Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group (SPSG) said on Wednesday it was “deeply disappointed” with Young’s Seafood, after the seafood processor threatened to stop sourcing fish from the pelagic fisheries of the Atlantic Ocean. Northeast if coastal states fail to reach an appropriate agreement on stock management later this month. .

Coastal states are currently entering into negotiations on the shared management of stocks of mackerel, Atlanto-Scandian herring and blue whiting for 2022.

Young’s said if the issue of some countries setting unilateral quotas was not resolved and catches continued to exceed advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), it “would stop sourcing from of these fisheries ”.

Ongoing disagreements over catch quotas between the region’s coastal states – EU, UK, Iceland, Norway, Faroe Islands, Greenland and Russia – have prompted companies to speak out on the consequences, via the North Atlantic Pelagic Advocacy Group (NAPA). Photo: Scottish Fishermen’s Federation

“Youngs doesn’t seem to be making a difference in sourcing from the right countries, like the UK, which continue to fish sustainably and in historic proportions and all fished in our own waters,” Ian Gatt, President of SPSG, mentioned.

“This compares markedly to some of the northern countries which have set huge quotas, do not fish all of their quotas and do so without regulation in international waters.”

Blocking in progress

Ongoing disagreements over catch quotas between the region’s coastal states – EU, UK, Iceland, Norway, Faroe Islands, Greenland and Russia – have prompted companies to speak out on the consequences, via the North Atlantic Pelagic Advocacy Group (NAPA).

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The current stalemate between states led the MSC to announce in December that it would suspend its certification of the Atlanto-scandal herring and blue whiting fisheries. In 2019, the MSC suspended mackerel fishing in the North East Atlantic.

And this is what prompted the formation of NAPA, a collective of companies responsible for a significant portion of pelagic purchases in the North East Atlantic.

Already, several large companies have pledged to stop sourcing from disputed pelagic fisheries, including smoked salmon giant Labeyrie and aquaculture feed giant owned by Nutreco Skretting.

Like the others, Young’s noted that the failure of the harvest under ICES leadership is a red line for the company.

Gatt, however, said his group was “deeply disappointed” that Young failed to clarify that some pelagic fishing companies were playing by the rules.

“We urge the company, as well as other seafood suppliers who may soon decide on their sourcing policies, to give due recognition to countries that fish responsibly,” Gatt added.

In June, Scottish fishermen urged retailers and food suppliers to halt purchases of Norwegian and Faroese mackerel after the two countries unilaterally increased their quota shares.

Norway and the Faroe Islands both increased their mackerel quota shares by 55 percent after coastal countries failed to reach an agreement on how to divide the catches.

Accept a defeat

Some groups are calling for a lower temperature ahead of coastal state meetings.

Fiskebat, the Norwegian Fishing Boat Owners Association, issued a statement calling on the groups to “leave the battlefield and secure a healthy mackerel stock – together”.

He acknowledged that different coastal states had disagreements over international mackerel quota regulations and “might not prefer all terms of an agreement,” however, “the time has come to settle,” he said. he declares.

“Now is not the time to prioritize short-term economic gains, but rather to show the world that we – in the North East Atlantic – are successful in communicating and cooperating, and therefore in regulating and harvest our stocks sustainably. “

The lack of agreement has led to substantial overfishing over the past decade.

Based on the ICES Total Allowable Catch (TAC), the percentage of overfishing averaged 31.8% per year over the period 2006-2020, Fiskebat said.


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