South Africa has avoided suspension of its hake trawl MSC certification. But the MSC has raised a number of concerns and put in place 4 additional conditions, including the re-instatement of the cancelled observer programme.

However, what is of concern is that the current conditional re-assessment was based solely on the period up to 30 March 2012. Since 1 April 2012, the Fisheries Department has failed to put any of the fisheries patrol vessels to sea and the hake trawl research cruise was cancelled.

In this regard, Martin Purves of the MSC is reported to have stated to Business Day today that “issues that came up since March (this year) will be picked up in the next audit and there are some red flags”.

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