FISHERY consultant, MacAlister Elliott & Partners (MEP), is developing, for the first time in the Mediterranean, a Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) on behalf of WWF Greece.
The initiative is for an Aegean sardine and anchovy fishery based in the northern Greek town of Kavala, a multi-stakeholder partnership between one of the biggest supermarket chains in Greece AB Vassilopoulos (of the Delhaize group), purse seiners of the ‘Manios’ seafood company, the national Fisheries Research Institute and WWF Greece.
Once implemented, it is anticipated the FIP will provide the framework to take the fishery to a point where Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification is likely to be successful.
A previous pre-assessment had identified improvements needed to obtain MSC certification and this will now form the basis of the new FIP with fishery stakeholders agreeing to key objectives.
This in turn will be translated into an action plan set within a defined timescale.
The implementation of the FIP (and ultimately MSC certification) will place the fishery in a position to meet supply requirements of AB Vassilopoulos by underlining the commitment of local fishermen to sustainable fishing practices.
The fishery consists of a fleet of purse seine vessels that target small pelagics, mainly sardines and anchovies, to the west of Keramoti and Thasos Island, and across to the Bay of Ierissos.
Kat Collinson of MEP said: ‘Sustainability is a key driver in the market today and a successful FIP adds to the credibility and longevity of a fishery and its resources.
‘An FIP can improve management and harvesting practices of a fishery and set it on a path to sustainability.’