SWHFA meet with Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) about non-renewal of accreditation
Three members of the SWHFA met with Toby Middleton, Chris Ninnis & Claire Pescod of the MSC recently at Mevagissey whilst they were in the County for a few days.
The meeting had been requested by the MSC with an agenda to discuss the wish of the membership not to renew our MSC accreditation in 2012. Toby Middleton (UK Commercial Manager) spent some time explaining how the renewal may be made cheaper through, asking Moody Marine for a breakdown of their quote (£11? or £13k? plus VAT) & also asking other Certificating Bodies for quotes for the same. After about 20 minutes we reminded the delegation of the history of the Mackerel fishery in the SW, from the 1970ís through to today. The MSC approved research for the accreditation of the Pelagic Fisheries reckon the Western Mackerel swam North up into the North Sea, & the decline was nothing to do with over exploitation. What was agreed, was that whilst the Icelandic & Faroese fisheries take what they want, & the Scottish Fishery take what theyíre awarded (TAC for 2011) with no intervention from DEFRA, the SWHFA would be foolish to commit money towards a re-certification in 2012. They (MSC) are going to re-assess the MSC award for the whole Mackerel fishery towards the end of this year when, if the Icelanders & Faroese announce the same or similar take for the Mackerel & the UK Pelagic fisheries do the same then the whole fishery will be classed as un-sustainable. Then the MSC award will be withdrawn for the whole UK Mackerel Fishery, including Handline.
Therefore we have time to ask processors & the Ďbig sevení (supermarkets) whether they want to pay for this stuff because we arenít going to, we havenít the money anyway!
If they'll pay, we may go through with it as local processors have written & stated they would rather see us in it, if not then Cornish fish sells itself!!
Agenda item for the next AGM Iím sure. Representatives present David Muirhead (Sec), Tich Preston (Asst Sec) & Andrew Trevarton (SWHFA Member)