Panama small pelagics transitioning to IFFO RS certification
As pioneers on the IFFO RS IP, being the first accepted applicants in 2015, Panama has demonstrated their commitment to improve the fishery as well as how an industry lead multi-stakeholder effort can promote positive change.
The Marine Ingredients Association, IFFO, has announced that the Panamanian small pelagics Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) has successfully transitioned onto the new IFFO RS Improver Program (IFFO RS IP) procedures against V2.0 of the standard. As pioneers on the IFFO RS IP, being the first accepted applicants in 2015, Panama has demonstrated their commitment to improve the fishery as well as how an industry lead multi-stakeholder effort can promote positive change. This process involved the implementation of a new law in Panama as well as investment in technology, staff training and vessel observers. This continued journey of improvement will allow better management of the fishery and enable producers of marine ingredients to demonstrate their commitment towards responsibly sourced raw materials.
Continuing on the IFFO RS IP process, the Panamanian FIP will have to continue to meet a series of time-bound improvement milestones with the aim to apply for full IFFO RS Certification once all the improvements have been implemented.
Brian Murtagh from Animalfeeds and the Panama FIP Coordinator said, “I believe that we owe the progress made to date to the continued dialogue between the government, the industry and NGOs in Panama. We’ve been able to understand each other’s views and then implement measures in the right direction. On its side, the government has approved a new fishing law to clarify definitions of fishing vessel activity and regulate fishing methods. As for us, we have invested in staff training and technical equipment. All these efforts have stimulated a real change from the fishermen, in the interest of the local environment and local communities.”
Dan Lee, from the Global Aquaculture Alliance, said that “the aquafeed and aquaculture industries need responsibly sourced marine ingredients so it’s great news to see this continued commitment from the Panama small pelagics fishery. In effect, the IFFO RS Improver Program has provided independent validation that this project is on track. GAA’s Best Aquaculture Practices program helps to provide linkages along supply chains to incentivise positive change and it’s impressive to see how Panama has stepped up to meet the challenge.”