The Northeast Atlantic mackerel fishery remains stripped of its Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification following a recent re-assessment of the fishery.
While the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) updated its recommendation advice for total allowable catches for the fishery in May, certification groups earlier this month determined after an expedited audit that the fishery failed on key scoring indicators against the MSC standards.
Among the issues affecting the fishery is the continuing dispute over mackerel quota, which have resulted in annual harvests above advised levels, certifiers said.
"There is an absence of long-term management strategy for the [Northeast Atlantic] mackerel agreed by all parties involved in mackerel fisheries," certifiers wrote of their decision. "Therefore, it could not be concluded with confidence that the management agency can and will act effectively and in a timely manner to reduce exploitation rate if the point of recruitment impairment is approached."
The fisheries impacted by the decision include the ISF Iceland mackerel fishery, the Faroese Pelagic Organisation Northeast Atlantic mackerel fishery, the NIPSG Irish Sea-Atlantic mackerel and North Sea herring allocations, and the MINSA North East Atlantic mackerel fishery.
The MINSA North East Atlantic mackerel fishery is made up of seven fisheries groups that previously held separate certificates for the fishery: SPSG Scottish Western mackerel, DPPO North East Atlantic mackerel, IPSA Western mackerel, IPSG Western mackerel pelagic trawl, North East Atlantic mackerel pelagic trawl, purse seine and handline, PFA North East Atlantic mackerel and SPFPO North East Atlantic mackerel.
The mackerel fishery's MSC certificate has been suspended since March 2.