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Marine Stewardship Council 'sets a very low bar for wild salmon sustainability'

Environmental NGOs are only surprised it took this long for a suspension.

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Canadian environmental NGOs have expressed a lack of surprise toward Canada’s Pacific salmon fishery's self-imposed suspension of its Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, claiming that the fishery's current management practices were not adequate and it would have failed the upcoming audit.

“MSC sets a very low bar for wild salmon sustainability,” said Watershed Watch Salmon Society Executive Director Aaron Hill.

Greg Knox from SkeenaWild Conservation Trust said the fact it took this long was the "only real surprise."

MSC recertified the fishery in 2017, under conditions regarding fishery monitoring, better stock assessments and reducing impacts. Progress on these conditions were up to 40 percent behind target, according to an independent audit and nine out of the 22 were not met.

“We can’t fish responsibly if we don’t know how many fish are making it back to their streams to spawn,” said Knox.

“A benefit of the MSC certification is that it requires the fishery to address key gaps, including lack of monitoring, dealing with the risks of hatcheries and protecting salmon biodiversity,” says David Suzuki Foundation senior science and policy analyst Jeffery Young. “Despite having close to a decade to act, the government has failed to deliver on its promises to help the B.C. fishery meet certification requirements.”

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