The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) announces today the formal launch of the Russian Pollock Fisheries Improvement Partnership. The partnership is lead by BAMR-ROLIZ, BirdsEye-Iglo Group and SFP, together with FRoSTA, Royal Greenland, FoodVest, Pickenpack, Delmar, High Liner, and the Fishin’ Company.

Russian pollock fisheries are a globally significant source of whitefish. The fisheries take place in the Bering Sea and Sea of Okhotsk, two of the most productive and diverse seas on earth. Companies are working together in the FIP to assure long-term supplies of seafood and to maintain the health of these critical ecosystems.

The formal launch of the FIP follows the announcement that the Russian Pollock Catchers Association is pursuing Full Assessment under the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) program, an independent rigorous sustainability certification. The FIP brings together resources and expertise to support the Pollock Catchers Association in their efforts to meet the requirements of the MSC.

The Pollock Catchers Association formed in 2006, and the member companies now account for over 60% of the Russian pollock quota. During the recent International Fisheries Congress in Vadivostok, Petr Savchuk, President of BAMR-ROLIZ, explained “the Pollock Catchers Association has worked closely together with Government, scientists and regulators to reduce over-quota fishing in the pollock spawning fishery, and to protect stocks by splitting the fishery into two seasons.”

Jim Cannon, CEO of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership concurs, “industry and supply chain support and innovation have delivered improvements in the fishery in the past two years. The Fisheries Improvement Partnership is a way for producers and major suppliers to work together to help fisheries improve, and explain progress to major customers.”

Advisor to BirdsEye-Iglo, Michael Bockish explained “BirdsEye-Iglo Group has worked with BAMRROLIZ for many years to improve this critically important fishery and enter into the MSC program. We have supported the efforts of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership to involve many other companies in these efforts over recent years, and are delighted to now formally lead the Fisheries Improvement Partnership, together with SFP and BAMR-ROLIZ”.