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Aker Biomarine's MSC Score Increases

OSLO, Norway—Following the Marine Stewardship Council's second audit of Aker BioMarine Antarctic's krill fishery, conducted by Intertek Moody Marine, the overall score for principle 2 Maintenance of Ecosystem increased from 91 to 94.3. Also, all existing MSC-related conditions were judged to have been met, meaning the score for the relevant performance indicator was raised to 80 or more reflecting improvements in information and fishery management. 

The audit determined there is no change in the understanding of the stock status since last year and last year's increase of the estimated krill biomass from 37,300,000 tonnes to 60,300,000 tonnes remains in effect.  The trigger level of 620,000 tonnes remains unchanged and, according to the MSC report, "the catch trigger level appears more precautionary than when the original assessment was carried out."

The observers on board Aker BioMarine's vessel have over recent years collected data of larvel fish bycatch. Analysis of the data by MRAG shows that the fishery is not likely to make an negative effect on the fish stocks in the southern ocean.  The MRAG  report also addressed the addition of Aker BioMarine Antarctic's second fishing vessel, the Antarctic Sea, and concluded, "Even if the Antarctic Sea and the Saga Sea were to operate at the full fishing capacity of the Saga Sea, the MSC certified fishery does not pose any risk to groundfish stocks."

WWF-Norway and Aker BioMarine agreed to include a voluntary condition in the krill MSC certification. An extensive report has been made by Centre for Conservation Geography, Sydney. This report will be available for scientists working on management of the krill fishery and other stakeholders.

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