New FIP launched by six companies in partnership with CeDePesca looks for MSC ecolabel
RAWSON, October 5, 2015.
Last week a Fisheries Improvement Project aimed to get the MSC certification for the Argentine on-shore shrimp fishery was publicly launched through CeDePesca’s website. The on-shore (or “yellow”) fleet based in Rawson (Chubut) landed around 35,000 tonnes of shrimp along 2014-2015 summer season, and a similar performance is expected for the next season.
Pesquera Veraz, Conarpesa, Cabo Virgenes, Food Partners Patagonia, Iberpesca and Ristic Patagonia, responsible for most of the exports from this fishery, have decided they will work together to achieve the MSC certification for their production. The FIP has also financial support from Delfin Ultracongelados (Spain), Maritime Products International (USA) and Ristic (Germany). “Some of the buyers made clear suggestions about the convenience of obtaining this ecolabel for keeping doing business with them”, informed Federico Angeleri, Commercial Manager at Pesquera Veraz, “so we addressed CeDePesca, a very prestigious NGO with great expertise on FIPs and certifications in Latin America, looking for some help”.
After the usual negotiations, the group asked for bids and contracted an MSC pre- assessment with Bureau Veritas, which revealed some weaknesses that the FIP is resolving now through an Action Plan. “The fishery going to be certified is the one operating exclusively in provincial waters of Chubut”, explained Ernesto Godelman, chairperson of CeDePesca. “The main weakness is the lack of documented information about the impacts of the fishery on the ecosystem. We have references of low impact, but we need to demonstrate it and for that purpose we are launching an Onboard Observers Program for next season”, said Godelman. Another problem showed by the pre-assessment is some miss-coordination between all the jurisdictions involved in the fishery (Federal state and provinces of Chubut and Santa Cruz).
At a meeting between FIP representatives and the Argentine Undersecretary of Fisheries, Mr. Miguel Bustamante, the government representative expressed his support to the goals of the project and committed full collaboration to solve the highlighted troubles.