Peruvian fishery ‘well placed’ for eco-certification, says MSC on world’s primary omega-3 source


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Peruvian fishery ‘well placed’ for eco-certification: MSC
The world’s biggest omega-3 source – Peru’s anchovy fishery – is moving toward Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) backing although the certifier says work remains before the fishery attains the increasingly popular eco seal of approval.

“We’ve been working with stakeholders in Peru for a couple of years to gradually bring the fishery toward full assessment and there is good interest,”​ said Camiel Derichs, MSC’s European deputy director at the recent Vitafoods trade show in Geneva.

“All fisheries can be certified and it is no different with the Peruvian anchovy fishery. I think that the fishery is overall quite well placed. It is well researched – the Peruvian Research Institute is really doing a fantastic job but there are probably some issues that need attention from the management.”

Areas that required further work and clarification included the manner in which the fishery was patrolled; longer term harvest strategies and more formalised allocation between inshore and outshore fishing. 

The fishery is in the pre-authorisation stage and may soon move into full authorisation procedures, something that has been welcomed by major omega-3 suppliers like DSM and trade group, GOED.

Derichs said multi-party participation was crucial to achieve success with such a big project – and to keep costs down.

“The Peruvian anchovy fishery is obviously critical for the supply of omega-3s, as raw material for the capsules and foods market,”​ he said.

“If it is organised as such so that it is an industry-wide approach whereby the producers combine with the demand group then you can split the cost among so many actors that the cost-per-company is actually quite low.”


Spreading the word

At Vitafoods, Derichs met with omega-3 suppliers, some of which may not have known of the potential of MSC to certify production processes and products as well as whole fisheries.

“Clearly there is an interest for supplement producers to find MSC-certified material to be able to use our label in the marketplace."

"I think there is a lot of explaining to do about as to why the MSC is a long term credible partner and how we are differentiating ourselves from existing platforms that are now out there.”

He said MSC awareness was highest in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

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