The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) recently announced that the Ross Sea Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni) longline fishery has been awarded Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification. This follows a rigorous, independent assessment against the MSC standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries.
The Ross Sea is part of the Southern Ocean and is located between Victoria Land and Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica. Its nutrient rich waters support a vast array of life, starting with vast amounts of plankton and building up the food chain all the way to penguins, seals and whales. Toothfish (a.k.a. Chilean Seabass) are part of this ecosystem, and all fishing activity is overseen by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). According to the MSC, “all vessels operating in the area must comply with CCAMLR and individual flag state requirements. Management rules and practices closely follow precautionary and ecosystem-based principles. Catch levels and other conservation measures are agreed by CCAMLR, based on the advice of their scientific committee, and accredited observers monitor compliance with these measures onboard each vessel.”
Another interesting feature of the certification is that it contains requirements for further management actions designed to:
- Enhance scientific understanding of the life-cycle of the target stock;
- Broaden the tagging program to increase the data available for stock assessments;
- Improve knowledge of the benthic habitat of the Ross Sea;
- Improve understanding of the interactions between species; and
- Further reduce uncertainties about the potential impact of the fishery on by-catch species
The fishery is also required to promote and cooperate with any relevant processes to identify which areas, if any, need to be closed to fishing.
Tracking the chain of custody of seabass from the Ross Sea is now even easier! This traceability is something that we also like about the MSC certified seabass that we bring in from the South Georgia fishery, which is currently available. Your Santa Monica Seafood representative can get you all the information you need to add this great fish to your menu.