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RUSSIA's first fishery to be MSC certified, the Iturup pink salmon and chum salmon fishery, has commenced the re-assessment process.

MSC certification is valid for five years and then a fishery must be re-assessed. The fishery was first certified in 2009 and is located in the Russian Far East on the north side of Iturup Island in the Kuril Islands. The assessment will evaluate the fishery against the MSC principles and criteria for sustainable fishing and, if successful, salmon from the fishery will be eligible to bear the MSC ecolabel for another five years.

The client for the fishery is JSC Gidrostroy and the method of catch is fish traps. The fishing season generally takes place June through October, and the annual catch in 2012 for pink salmon was 22,007 metric tonnes and 3,469 metric tonnes for chum salmon. The main commercial markets for the fishery are China, Russia, United States, and Europe.

Kerry Coughlin, MSC regional director for the Americas and Russian Far East, says: "The first Russian fishery to seek a second MSC certification is a milestone and an important indicator of the value the MSC program brings to fisheries in the Russian Far East and around the globe. MSC certified salmon is widely sought after in world markets and we are pleased this fishery has made the decision to enter into the re-assessment process."

The assessment will be carried out by SCS Global Services a third-party, independent certifier. SCS will convene a team of scientific experts to assess the fishery against the three core principles of the MSC's standard for sustainable and well managed fisheries: the sustainability of the fish stock, its impact on the environment and the management system in place. Anyone who would like to bring information about the fishery to the attention of the certifier can be involved in the assessment process. If you would like to be involved, please contact Adrienne Vincent at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . It is expected the assessment will take 12 months to complete, with the current MSC certificate expiring on September 9, 2014.

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