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National Workshop on Ecolabelling and Sustainable Fisheries

Management: the Road Ahead for India, 30 March 2010, Cochin

Ecolabelling and Sustainable Fisheries


Management in India:
The Technology Perspective

Dr. M.R. Boopendranath


Principal Scientist
Central Institute of Fisheries Technology
P.O. Matsyapuri, Cochin-682 029
Ecolabelling

Eco-labels and related certification have


become an important feature of
international trade and marketing of fish
and fish products, in recent years.
Ecolabelling is a system of voluntary
product labelling conveying environmental
information to consumers that seeks to
create a market-based incentive for
sustainable management of fisheries.

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Eco-labels

Marine Stewardship
Council (MSC)

Friend of the Sea


(FOS)

KRAV

Naturland

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Ecolabelling –Guiding documents
FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing (FAO,
1995) and International Plans of Action (IPOAs) on (i)
reducing incidental catch of seabirds in long line fisheries
(FAO, 1999), (ii) conservation and management of sharks
(FAO, 1999), (iii) management of fishing capacity (FAO,
1999) and (iv) prevention of illegal, unreported and
unregulated (IUU) fishing (FAO, 2001).
Guidelines for the Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery
Products from Marine Capture Fisheries (FAO, 2005).
World Trade Organisation (WTO) - Technical Barriers to
Trade (TBT) Agreement

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FAO CCRF – Key Principles
Management of stocks using the best available science;
Application of the “precautionary principle,” using conservative
management approaches when the effects of fishing practices are
uncertain;
Avoiding overfishing and preventing or eliminating excess fishing
capacity;
Minimisation of bycatch and discards;
Prohibition of destructive fishing methods;
Restoration of depleted fish stocks;
Implementation of appropriate national laws, management plans, and
means of enforcement;
Monitoring the effects of fishing on the ecosystem;
Working cooperatively with other states to coordinate management
policies and enforcement actions;
Recognizing the importance of artisanal and small-scale fisheries, and
the value of traditional management practices
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FAO Guidelines for the Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery
Products from Marine Capture Fisheries (FAO, 2005)

Principles
General considerations
Terms and definitions
Minimum substantive requirements and criteria
Procedural and institutional aspects
Setting of standards
Accreditation
Certification

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FAO Guidelines for the Ecolabelling of Fish and
Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries –
Key Principles

Objective, third-party fishery assessment using


scientific evidence.
Transparent processes with built-in stakeholder
consultation and objection procedures.
Standards based on the three factors -
sustainability of target species,
ecosystems and management practices.
The standards include all parts of the chain of
custody from the fishery to the retailers.

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Marine fisheries in India

Marine fish production in India has reached 3.2 million


tonnes in 2008 which forms about 84% of the potential yield
from the Exclusive Economic Zone.
More than 80% of the current fish production comes from
the intensively fished coastal waters.
Fleet size in marine waters consists of 104,000 traditional
non-motorised vessels, 76,000 motorised vessels and
59,000 mechanised vessels.
Great diversity in resources, craft-gear combinations,
technology and scale of fishing operations.
Dual system of management in the EEZ by the union and
state governments.
Predominantly open access system with prevailing excess
capacity and insufficient means of MCS.
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Excess Capacity in Marine Fisheries-India

0 10000 20000 30000 40000 50000 60000 70000 80000

10998
Mechanised trawlers 29241
784
Mechanised purse seiners 983
3694
Mechanised gill netters 14183 Optimum fleet size (Kurup and
2014 Devaraj, 2000)
Mechanised bag netters 8862 Present fleet size (CMFRI, 2005)
1558
Other mechanised boats 5642
19048
Total mechanised boats 58911
14862
Total motorised boats 75591

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Management interventions for Ecolabelling
and Sustainable Fisheries in India which
require technology inputs

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Evolve regionalized consensus Code of Conduct
for Responsible Fishing, in close participation with
all stake holders, within a co-management
regime.

Traditional, motorized and mechanized fishermen


organizations sharing the same fishing ground and
resources
Fisheries research organizations
Fisheries managers

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Take measures to facilitate transition from free and open
access regime to rights based controlled access co-
management regime, with strict enforcement of a system of
licenses in traditional, motorized and mechanized sectors
and promote cooperative movement among stakeholders.
Maintain registry of all fishing vessels operating in waters
under jurisdiction of the Union and State Governments with
all essential details using a centralised IT-based system.
Periodically revalidate maximum sustainable yield of
resources in the existing fishing grounds and determine
fishing units and their capacities in each category and
fishing zones for sustainable harvesting of resources.

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Address the question of excess capacity and take steps to
remove excess capacity over a time schedule.
Standardize the capacities, dimensions and specifications
fishing systems operating in different sectors and prevent
unauthorized technological changes affecting capacities
and fishing power.
Conduct periodic audit of craft-gear combinations operating
on the fishery in terms economics of operation, energy
consumption, selectivity, ecological and environmental
impacts and promote the use of those systems which
minimizes cost of fish production, energy use, ecological
and environmental impacts, by effective management
strategies.

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Identify and delimit Protected Areas in marine ecosystems.
Evolve a system for marking of fishing vessels and fishing
gear (both traditional and mechanized).
Evolve regulations for mandatory survey of mechanized
fishing vessels and fishing gears.
Evolve appropriate catch reporting system, for the fishing
vessels.

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Develop and promote fishing gear and
practices to minimise bycatch and
impact on environment.

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Bycatch Reduction Technologies
Bycatch reduction in Trawling

Gear design related Operation related


approaches approaches
Trawl design improvements Choice of fishing area
Mesh size optimization Choice of fishing depth
Bycatch reduction devices Choice of fishing time
and turtle excluder devices and season
Juvenile and trash fish
excluder devices

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Bycatch Reduction Technologies
Bycatch reduction in Purse seining

Gear design related Operation related


approaches approaches
Seine design and seine Choice of fishing area
depth appropriate for Choice of fishing depth
schools of target species Choice of fishing time and
Mesh size selection season
Capability of vessel and
Aprons for protection of crew to use selective
dolphins back-down manoeuvres.

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Bycatch Reduction Technologies
Bycatch reduction in Gillnetting
Gear design related Operation related
approaches approaches
Optimization of gillnet Choice of fishing area
dimensions Choice of fishing depth
Optimization mesh size
Choice of netting material Choice of fishing time and
Choice of colour of netting season
Optimization of hanging Use of scaring devices
ratio and acoustic deterrents
Use of biodegradable for cetaceans
materials in rigging and
construction to prevent
ghost fishing
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Bycatch Reduction Technologies
Bycatch reduction in lining
Gear design related Operation related
approaches approaches
Hook design Choice of bait type and bait
Hook shape and size size
Choice of fishing area and
Hook spacing
fishing depth, fishing time
Use of circle hook to and fishing season
minimise sea turtle Use of dyed baits, side sets,
bycatch subsurface line setting chutes
Use of rare earth and bird scaring steamers to
magnets in the proximity deter birds
of hooks to deter Use of deep setting of line to
sharks. minimize sea turtle bycatch
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Bycatch Reduction Technologies
Bycatch reduction in trap operations

Gear design related Operation related


approaches approaches
Trap design Choice of bait type
Optimized trap mouth Choice of fishing area
Escape windows Choice of fishing depth
Use of biodegradable Choice of fishing time and
materials in rigging and season
construction to prevent
ghost fishing

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Technologies for minimizing
environmental impact of trawls

Semi-pelagic trawl systems


Benthic release panels
Ground gear modifications
Otter board, bridles and sweeps

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Develop and implement National Plans of Action (NPOAs) for
(i) management of fishing capacity, (ii) prevention of illegal,
unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, (iii) conservation and
management of sharks, and (iv) reducing incidental catch of
seabirds in long line fisheries
Evolve an efficient monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS)
system. Evolve and adopt cost-effective vessel monitoring system
(VMS) and automatic vessel identification system (AIS), especially
for the large mechanised fleet.
Effectively use Geographical Information System for fisheries
management; for generation and maintenance of databases on the
geographical distribution of ‘stocks under consideration’ and their
environmental and biological attributes; monitoring and control of
fishing effort and energy use.
Develop a dynamic Fisheries Information System providing easy
access to authentic information and facilitate fisheries research,
management and business.

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Evolve and promote a package of practices
for energy conservation in fish harvesting.
Low energy fishing techniques
Low drag trawls
Pair trawling
Economic vessel speed
Hull design and displacement optimisation
Anti-fouling measures
Choice of engines
Right sizing of engines
Emission standards
Preventive maintenance of engines
Reduction gear, propeller size and propeller nozzle
Sail-assisted propulsion
Use of advanced technology (Echosounder, GPS, PFZ
information, GIS)
Fleet management
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Evolve a mandatory programme of training,
certification and log-keeping for non-
motorised, motorised and mechanised
fishermen in:
Safe navigation
Responsible fishing
Fisheries regulations
Log keeping and reporting

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Chain of custody certification
Chain of custody certification is an integral part of
ecolabelling process.
The catch shall be stored in fish boxes labelled to
ensure complete traceability. Label may include
vessel ID, gear, species, fishing area, time for catch,
quality indicators, bycatch information, etc.
Critical Traceability Points need to be determined and
records for internal (within company) and external
traceability (chain traceability) need to be maintained.
Technologies such as use of RFID (Radio Frequency
Identification) tags and computerized networking can
be used for automated traceability.

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Conclusion and Recommendations..

A range of technologies are readily available for


adoption for (i) bycatch reduction, (ii) minimizing
environmental impacts and (iii) energy conservation
which will facilitate sustainable fishing.
Enabling policy initiatives and legislation based on
CCRF and a rights based regulated access system
based on a strong inclusive participatory
management are necessary for facilitating large
scale adoption of responsible fishing technologies.
Existing fisheries legislation need to be harmonized
in order to facilitate sustainable fisheries
management on regional basis, depending on
geographical extent of distribution of the stocks
under consideration.

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Conclusion and Recommendations

HACCP system needs to be integrated into the chain


of custody of fish and fish based products, to ensure
quality.
Cost-effective system of traceability of fish and
fishery products needs to be evolved and
implemented.
Automated systems for Chain of Custody may be
evolved indigenously using RFID technology.
Small pelagic stocks seems to be more amenable to
immediate certification, in view of their known
resilience to fishing pressure due to high fecundity,
low trophic level, high growth rate and short
generation cycle.
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Thank You

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