By far the biggest fishery in the world, the anchovies purse seine fishery of Peru, has been found to be compliant with Friend of the Sea sustainable fisheries criteria. This end of year result qualifies Friend of the Sea as the main sustainable seafood certification scheme in the world, with an estimate 15 million metric tons of wild-catch products and over 500.000 MT of farmed production having been certified with the sustainability label. Over 1000 products from more than 50 species have been certified, among which all the main commercial ones, fished and farmed in 30 countries from all continents.
Friend of the Sea is rapidly becoming an industry standard as it is the only scheme in the world certifying, with the same seal of approval both wild-caught as well as farmed products. “Aquaculture will, and must, continue to grow to relieve the pressures placed on wild fisheries.” comments Dr Bray, director of Friend of the Sea “It puzzles me why the other groups continue to ignore this very important area. All I can say is that Friend of the Sea realizes the growing importance of aquaculture, and will continue to insure that it is implemented in an environmentally friendly manner.”
The project developed strongly in the certification of fish feed, fish oil and Omega-3 supplements; tuna (pole and line and handline in Azores, Brazil, Maldives, Philippines, Senegal and Sri-Lanka); shrimp (farmed and fished in Australia, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Indonesia, Madagascar and Vietnam); mussels and clams (Australia, Chile, Spain and Turkey); farmed cod and salmon; wild-caught anchovies, mackerel and sardines.
Friend of the Sea is also known for its strictest criteria, which for example would not allow to certify overexploited or high impact fisheries certified by other weaker schemes. New Zealand Hoki, South African Hake, Toothfish, Icelandic Mackerel, Jack Mackerel, Blue whiting, Cod, Haddock and bottom trawled Octopus were among those origins which would not pass the test.
“We would like to see all certification schemes respecting Article 30 of the FAO guidelines for eco labeling of products from Marine Fisheries, which indicates as a minimum requirement that <stock under consideration is not overfished>>.” Affirms Dr Bray “When certification is provided without complying with this minimum requirement, consumers get mislead and end up putting further pressure on already overexploited populations”.
Friend of the Sea Day, on the 27th of April 2009, at the Sheraton Brussels, will provide with a full update on Friend of the Sea project development and will allow for meetings with certified companies. Book Now from Friend of the Sea home page www.friendofthesea.org
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