Fisheries Improvement Project

 

The Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) was launched by the Longline Fishery Association (LFA) and the Sustainable Fishery Partnership (SFP) in May 2013. From October 1, 2016, the LFA assumed full responsibility for the FIP implementation, including, in particular, the publication of FIP reports. The main objective of the FIP was to improve longline fishery up to its full compliance with the international criteria of sustainable fisheries including the standards of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

Preliminary assessment of the fishery, which is a necessary requirement for the launch of the FIP, was done before the organization of LFA in 2011 by an international certification body. The companies that commissioned preliminary assessment have subsequently joined the LFA. The results of the evaluation were used to determine the FIP objectives and goals. The initial FIP work plan was implemented during the period 2013-2016. As a result, many aspects of the fishery were improved towards environmentally responsible and sustainable fishing and the status of the LFA FIP was defined as "comprehensive" (see the FIP Manual). 

After successful completion of FIP Stage IV, a pre-assessment MSC-audit of the LFA fishery took place in November 2016. By mid-2017, LFA evaluated time and means required for the preparation of materials for entering full certification. A work plan for the preparation of certification materials and start of full certification was adopted in October 2017, regulatory policy change and actions to improve the fishery undertaken (see section "FIP Progress Update" in the latest public report).

 

The latest FIP public report:

Pdf view

Pdf download

 

 

The latest FIP work plan:

Pdf view

Pdf download

 

 

Previous FIP reports are available in the FIP archive section at SFP.org. The main stages and news of LFA work on the FIP are presented below.

 

 

23 August 2018

LFA and KamchatNIRO concluded a contract on research work

The LFA signed an agreement with specialists from Kamchatka Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (KamchatNIRO) on the research: "Investigation of the interactions between Greenland and Pacific halibuts and marine mammals in the Okhotsk Sea and Bering Sea”. Delivery terms of works under the contract: 15.12.2021.

The aim of the research is to reveal specific features of marine mammals' behavior in the areas of halibut longline fishery which can be used to decrease or eliminate their negative influence on the fishery. The expected outcome of the research is the development of guidelines which can help to prevent the depredation of marine mammals on longlines. The work plan includes field research during which scientific observers will work on the LFA vessels (2 observers on three vessels working in different areas and seasons).

 

18-25 May 2018

MSC experts met with stakeholders and conducted a field visit to the LFA fishing site

The evaluation team appointed by Marine Certification LLC for the MSC-audit met with the stakeholders and conducted a field visit to the LFA fishing site. The meetings took place in Moscow (May 18-20) and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (May 21-25).

During the meetings, experts discussed the compliance of the LFA fishery with the requirements of the MSC standard with the representatives of the Federal Fishery Agency, regulatory and supervisory federal authorities, research institutes, public organizations, fisheries companies, and crews of fishing vessels.

 

18 April 2018

MSC announced the beginning of the LFA certification assessment

In the end of March the LFA applied the Marine certification LLC for MSC-certification of Western Bering Sea Pacific cod and Pacific halibut longline fishery. Marine Stewardship Council has announced the beginning of the LFA certification assessment on the 18th of April. 

 

1 February 2018

LFA updated “The Regulations on Observers’ work”

“The Regulations on Observers’ work” were developed LFA in collaboration with WWF-Russia. The company’s inner document defines rights and duties of an observer onboard fishing vessel. The Regulations gives an observer authority to collect data on all stages of the fishing process. It defines observer’s status, makes cooperation between an observer and crew members easier. The final version of the document was approved for all longline fishing vessels of the Association.

More information on WWF website: https://new.wwf.ru/en/resources/news/morya/nablyudateli-na-yarusolovakh-poluchili-rasshirennye-polnomochiya/

 

January 2018

LFA has drawn up a plan of the scientific observations on vessels in 2018

In 2018, scientific observers from KamchatNIRO, TINRO and KamchatSTU plan to work on the LFA vessels.

Fishery Company

Vessel

Institute

Date

1

YAMSy

Alanett

KamchatSTU

01.11.2017 - present

2

YAMSy

Alanett

KamchatNIRO

2nd quarter 2018

3

Interrybflot

Afalina

TINRO

July - September 2018

4

Interrybflot

Komandor

TINRO

July - September 2018

5

Polaris

Anastasia

TINRO

July - September 2018

6

Polaris

Finval

TINRO

July - September 2018

7

Dalrybprom

Ivan Moshlyak

KamchatNIRO

May - September 2018

8

Dalrybprom

Gloria KamchatNIRO February - April 2018
9

Sigma Marine Technology

Tari TINRO 25.04.18 - 30.08.2018

 

 

LFA summed up the work of scientific observers on vessels in 2016-2017

In 2016-2017, scientific observers from Kamchatka Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (KamchatNIRO) and Kamchatka State Technical University (KamchatSTU) worked on the LFA vessels.

Vessel

Institute

Name

Date

1

Kalkan

KamchatNIRO

Kalugin А.А.

08.03.16 - 12.05.16

2

Blanket

KamchatNIRO

Kalugin А.А.

13.05.16 - 13.06.16

3

Aldan

KamchatNIRO

Kalugin А.А.

16.02.17 - 30.04.17

4

Tarpon

KamchatSTU

Nepomnyaschikh R.S.

16.02.17 - 04.04.17

5

Alanett

KamchatSTU

Nepomnyaschikh R.S.

01.11.17 - present

 

Observations were conducted on five vessels of the LFA member companies, in total scientific staff worked 286 ship-days. The results of observations were analyzed and provided to the LFA.

 

27 December 2017

LFA and KamchatNIRO concluded a contract on research work

The LFA concluded an agreement with specialists from Kamchatka Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (KamchatNIRO) on the research work: "Review of the bottom longline fishery scientific monitoring system”. Term of delivery of works under the contract: 28.02.2018.

The research work will summarize data collected by scientific observers who worked on the LFA longline vessels in the period of 2014-2017. The final report will be included in the materials that the LFA will provide for the MSC-certification audit.

 

26 December 2017

LFA and individual entrepreneur Maiss A.A. concluded a contract on research work

The LFA concluded an agreement with an individual entrepreneur Maiss A.A. on the research work "Status of vulnerable marine ecosystems in the West Bering Sea fishery zone and Karaginsky and Petropavlovsk-Commander fishery sub-zones". The research will be conducted with the involvement of World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Russia) specialists and experts. Term of delivery of works under the contract: 28.02.2018.

The work under this contract will summarize collected and published data on vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) in the above-mentioned fishery areas. The final report will be included in the materials that the LFA will provide for the MSC-certification audit.

 

30 October - 2 November 2017

LFA participated in the VI International Scientific Conference “Marine Research and Education”

The VI International Scientific Conference “Marine Research and Education (MARESEDU-2017)” was held by P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, RAS, the Lomonosov Moscow State University, the Marine Research Center of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, the UNESCO-MSU Training and the Research Centre for Marine Geology and Geophysics in Moscow. The conference programme covered questions related to oceanology, hydrology, marine geology, biology, marine surveys, rational environmental management and ecological control, etc. The main topics included studies on modern changes in natural environment of the oceans and seas, climatic and anthropogenic factors in evolution of aquatic ecosystems, resources of the World Ocean, biodiversity of the seas of the Russian Federation, anthropogenic impact on sea ecosystems, creation and functioning of the open marine and coastal especially protected natural territories (EPNT), information and legal support of sea environmental management, etc.

Within the conference section “Biology and rational environmental management and ecological control” LFA presented the report “Improvement of fishery: ecological problems of longline fishing and possible ways to solve them”.

 

10 October 2017

LFA and KB PGI FEB RAS concluded a contract on research work

The LFA concluded an agreement with specialists from the Kamchatka Branch of the Pacific Geographical Institute (KB PGI FEB RAS) on the research work: "Analysis of the influence of Pacific cod and Pacific halibut longline fishing on the status of seabird populations within the boundaries of the Chukotka, the West Bering Sea and East Kamchatka fishery management zones ". The term of delivery of work under the contract: 15.12.2017.

The report received on the results of this work will be included in the materials that the LFA will provide for the MSC-certification audit.

 

8 September 2017

LFA and TINRO-Center concluded a contract on research work

The LFA concluded an agreement with specialists from Pacific Scientific Research Fisheries Center (TINRO-Center) on the research work: "Analysis of the Pacific cod and Pacific halibut longline fishery in the West Bering Sea to assess its compliance with MSC standards". Term of delivery of works under the contract: 25.01.2018.

The report received on the results of this work will be included in the materials that the LFA will provide for the MSC-certification audit.

 

May 2017

Analysis of MSC pre-assessment results was finished

Experts of the LFA and SFP analyzed the results of the assessment of the Pacific cod and Pacific halibut longline fishery for compliance with MSC criteria. Short results of the analysis can be found here (in Russian).

The LFA has started to prepare the materials necessary for passing full certification taking into account the potential conditions identified during the preliminary audit.

 

December 2016

MSC pre-assessment was completed

The MSC pre-assessment of the Pacific cod and Pacific halibut longline fishery was carried out in October 2016 by “Marine Certification” LLC. The audit report was submitted to the LFA at the end of December 2016. As a result of the audit, none of the evaluated criteria received less than 60 scores, that is, potentially all of them will pass the full assessment against the MSC standards.

Below are the summarized results of the preliminary audit:

 

Unit of certification № 1: Pacific cod

Principle

PIs scoring less than 60

PIs scoring 60-79

PIs scoring over 80

Overall outcome

Target stock

0 / 6

0 / 6

6 / 6

Pass

Ecosystem

0 / 15

8 / 15

7 / 15

Pass (with conditions)

Management

0 / 7

3 / 7

4 / 7

Pass (with conditions)

 

 Unit of certification № 2: Pacific halibut

Principle

PIs scoring less than 60

PIs scoring 60-79

PIs scoring over 80

Overall outcome

Target stock

0 / 6

1 / 6

5 / 6

Pass (with conditions)

Ecosystem

0 / 15

8 / 15

7 / 15

Pass (with conditions)

Management

0 / 7

3 / 7

4 / 7

Pass (with conditions)

 

1 October 2016

LFA is responsible for the FIP implementation

From October 1, 2016, the LFA assumed full responsibility for the implementation of the FIP, including, in particular, the publication of the FIP reports.

 

26-28 April 2016

LFA signed the agreement with Marine certification

During the Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, the LFA signed an agreement with “Marine Certification” LLC, the first Russian accredited certification authority, to pursue the full MSC certification of the West Bering Sea Pacific cod and Pacific halibut fisheries.

The process of certification should start with initial pre-assessment of the fisheries in order to identify whether any additional materials are required.  According to plans, the initial pre-assessment of certification materials is to be completed in October 2016.

 

January 2016

LFA summed up the work of scientific observers on vessels in 2015.

In 2015, scientific observers from Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO) and Kamchatka Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (KamchatNIRO) worked on the LFA vessels.

Vessel

Institute

Name

Date

1

Finval

KamchatNIRO

Matveev A.

01.01.15 - 11.02.15

2

Alanett

KamchatNIRO

Matveev A.

11.02.2015 - 27.02.15

3

Kalkan

VNIRO

Mitenkova L.

11.06.15 - 22.07.15

4

Tiburon

KamchatNIRO

Shalimanov D.

12.10.2015 - 15.11.15

 

Observations were conducted on four vessels of the LFA member companies, in total scientific staff worked 132 ship-days. The results of observations were analyzed and provided to the LFA.

 

February 2015

LFA summed up the work of scientific observers on vessels in 2014

In 2014 in cooperation with the fishery research institutes and the WWF, scientific observers began to work on the LFA vessels. The main purpose of their work is to collect data on by-catch with subsequent assessment of the impact of fishing on non-target species, including birds and marine mammals, and marine ecosystems. All LFA vessels were equipped with field guides of fish, birds and marine mammals.

The collected data are processed by the fishery research institutes and will be used in preparation for certification.

Vessel

Institute

Name

Date

1

Tarpon

KamchatNIRO

Захаров Д.В.

20.03.14 - 24.06.14

2

Afalina

KamchatNIRO

Novikov R.

03.06.14 - 09.07.14

3

Afalina

TINRO

Tudos B.

05.08.14 - 07.11.14

4

Narval

TINRO

Tudos B.

07.11.14 - 09.12.14

5

I. Moshlyak

TINRO

Matveychuk S.

01.05.14 - 05.11.14

6

Tiburon

KamchatNIRO

Ovchinnikov N.

12.08.14 - 25.08.14

7

Finval

KamchatNIRO

Matveev A.

14.12.14 - 31.12.14

 

In 2014 specialists from Kamchatka Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (KamchatNIRO) and Pacific Scientific Research Fisheries Center (TINRO-Center) participated in the observations. The observations were conducted on six vessels of the LFA, in total scientific personnel worked out 471 ship-days. The results of observations were analyzed and provided to the LFA.

 

January 2015

Streamer lines will be used by all LFA vessels

Streamers 2                                                                                   

Streamers 3                                                                              

In view of the proven high efficiency of streamer lines as a means of reducing seabird by-catch during longline operations, the LFA decided to use them on all its vessels on the voluntary basis.

 

27 May 2014          

LFA adopted the Provision on Scientific Observers

The LFA was the first who adopted a document developed jointly with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Russia) - regulations defining the status and rules for the work of scientific observers on board fishing vessels. According to the Regulations, observers are authorized to collect data on by-catch, conduct fishery research and, if necessary, advise the crew on compliance with fishing regulations and the requirements for environmental protection. Observers also have the right to inspect ship and fishing documents and to access the storage sites of the catch and products of its processing.

From the practice of scientific observers on fishing vessels, it is known that they are often denied access to the documents necessary for an objective assessment of the fishery, are not allowed to take photos and do video shooting of fishing operations, etc. The provision adopted by the LFA will allow observers to collect representative information on the impact of the fishery on the environment, which is an important step in the way planned by the LFA for improving the fishery.


15 April 2014   

The next seminar for the crews of LFA vessels was held in Vladivostok

In Vladivostok, another seminar was held for the crews of longline ships and the heads of companies belonging to the LFA.

Yury Artukhin, the Head of the Ornithology laboratory of the Kamchatka Branch of the Pacific Geographical Institute (KB PGI FEB RAS), spoke about how the use of streamer lines reduces the sea birds by-catch and the material losses of fishermen. Arthur Maiss, general director of a small innovative enterprise “Dalrybvtuz-NEVOD”, stressed that environmental problems lead to serious consequences for all people and in today's world environmental responsibility must be treated with utmost importance. The participants of the seminar received seabird field guides and environmental posters for placement on ships.

Seminar 15042014 1

 

Seminar 15042014 2

 

 

20 March 2014      

LFA and TINRO-Center signed a research contract

The LFA concluded an agreement with Pacific Scientific Research Fisheries Center (TINRO-Center) on the research work:  "Analysis of longline Pacific cod fishery in the West Bering Sea to assess its compliance with the standards of the Marine Stewardship Council" (No. 14-14 dated 07 March 2014). Term of delivery of works under the contract: 15.06.2014.

Based on the results of the work, a report will be compiled that will serve as the main material for the pre-assessment of the longline cod fishery - an important step in the LFA preparation for the full MSC-certification.

 

4-6 March 2014    

First seminars for the LFA crews were held in Kamchatka

Within the framework of the Fisheries Improvement Project in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky two seminars were held for the crews of longline vessels and the heads of companies that are members of the LFA. The specialists of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Russia) conducted the seminars on March 4 and 6 for “Polaris” and “YAMSy” employees. The main goal of the seminars was to create an environmentally conscious mind and to increase the knowledge of fishermen in the field of sustainable fishing.

Seminar 04032014 1

 

Seminar 04032014 2

 

 One of the significant environmental problems encountered by longline vessels while conducting fishing operations is the accidental by-catch of birds. Speaking at the seminar, Yuri Artukhin, Head of the Ornithology Laboratory of the Kamchatka Branch of the Pacific Geographical Institute (KB PGI FEB RAS), identified two problems arising from the interaction of seabirds and longline fisheries: economic and environmental. On the one hand, birds, by ripping the bait off the hook, reduce the profitability of the fishery. On the other hand, the death of rare red-listed sea birds represents a big environmental problem. The solution to these problems is the use of means to deter birds from longlines. From a wide variety of such devices, it was suggested to use streamer lines. These devices differ in modifications, but have a relatively simple design and have high efficiency.

Participants of the seminar received posters "Seabirds and Longline Fisheries" and a field guides "Seabirds and Marine Mammals of the Far East".

More information on WWF website (in Russian): http://www.wwf.ru/resources/news/article/12156

 

28 February  2014           

Agreement with WWF and the problem of seabird by-catch

The LFA and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Russia) signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of environmental protection. The agreement stipulates conditions for joint participation in projects to reduce the negative impact of longline fishing on non-target species and marine ecosystems.

The basis for cooperation between the LFA and WWF was the problem of accidental by-catch of birds in the longline fishery. According to the latest estimates, as a result of the 68 longline fisheries operating in the World Ocean, the total annual mortality of seabirds reaches 320 thousand individuals. Bottom longline fishery, being carried out in the Far East fishery basin, is on the sixth place in the world in this indicator. During longline operations, a large number of birds die each year getting caught on hooks with bait. Most of the dead birds belong to numerous and widespread species, however, rare and endangered species also occur among them. In the Russian waters, the acuteness of the problem of the negative effect of longline fishing on seabird populations is primarily due to the potential danger of this fishing gear for the short-tailed albatross (Phoebastria albatrus), a rare species placed in the Russian Red Data Book and the IUCN red list. Of the six cases of birds of this species caught in fishing gear known in the Russian Far East, this happened twice on longline vessels. On the other hand, birds cause significant material loss to longline fishing due to the loss of bait. The economic losses of the entire longline fleet operating in 2004 in the Kamchatka region caused by birds even being roughly estimated were $ 840,000. Thus, the solution of the conflict "seabirds - longline fishery" is beneficial both from the ecological and economic positions.

Beginning from 2003, WWF and ornithologists from the KB PGI FEB RAS have been working together. During 2003-2006 the research was carried out on longline vessels of the companies that later became members of the LFA (project WWF RU0098.01-02). As a result it was suggested to use streamer lines as a means of reducing seabird by-catch during longline operations. The approbation of these devices on two main types of vessels engaged in longline fishing has shown their high efficiency. The use of paired streamer lines reduced the number of bird attempts to attack the bait by 81.9%, and the mortality rate of birds by 90.2%. With this there was no statistically significant effect on the catch of the target species.

The LFA and WWF are currently planning to use scientific observers on fishing vessels in order to assess the impact of fishing on birds and the effectiveness of streamer lines. The participants of the agreement plan to discuss the results of the joint work at working meetings, seminars and conferences which will be organized by the WWF. The agreement between the LFA and the WWF is signed for a period of three years.

More information on the WWF website (in Russian): http://www.wwf.ru/resources/news/article/12150


1 March 2013

LFA and SFP signed a framework agreement on cooperation

The Longline Fishery Association (LFA) and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) signed a framework agreement on cooperation. Both sides agreed to promote the development of the Fisheries Improvement Project including technical work, information exchange, training as well as any other type of cooperation aimed to  achieve and maintain the fishery at its sustainable  level.