Friend of the Sea refused audit authorization to North East Atlantic cod and haddock fishery, given its verifiable non compliance with some of the essential Friend of the Sea sustainability standards. The application had been filed by an international seafood leader requesting assessment of its supplying longline fishery. Given the current cod and haddock target stock status, audit authorization was not provided as the fishery stands no chance of being certified.
Atlantic Cod is also considered overexploited or severely depleted by ICES 2007 in each ICES division. Haddock is considered overexploited in the Va ICES division. (http://www.ices.dk/advice/icesadvice.asp).
The longline fishery in the area catches approx. 36% of total Icelandic cod and haddock catch. Even though longlines are likely to be more selective than bottom trawling and do not cause unsustainable impact on the seabed, the longline fishery still represents one of the main causes of cod and haddock overexploitation.
“Most bottom trawled groundfish fisheries, such as hoki, hake, cod and pollock are overexploited. Consumers should not be mislead by sustainability claims until these stocks recover and lower impact fishing methods will be used” states Dr Bray, Director of Friend of the Sea “The audit will be authorized only if the cod and haddock stocks will recover. Friend of the Sea has suggested the market leader company which failed certification to instead apply for assessment of its farmed cod and haddock plants: they could represent a sustainable alternative, as long as they comply with FOS Criteria for Aquaculture.”