North Atlantic Pelagic Advocacy Group established to drive improvements in management of fisheries — Seafish

North Atlantic Pelagic Advocacy Group established to drive improvements in management of fisheries

A new supply chain led initiative, focused on driving improvements to the management of the North East Atlantic fisheries has been established.
North Atlantic Pelagic Advocacy Group logo - text positioned to side of stacked blue boxes, highest box has wavy line along top

The formal creation of the group is the latest step in a project which began in 2019 in response to the suspension of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) North East Atlantic mackerel fishery certification.

Managing these fisheries is complicated because it involves six coastal states and there are ongoing disputes regarding quota allocation.

The North Atlantic Pelagic Advocacy (NAPA) Group was formed by retailers and processors from across the UK to consider how the supply chain could drive improvements in the management of these fisheries. NAPA is seeking to achieve a formal agreement on catch limits for North East Atlantic Pelagic fisheries that reflects the scientific advice. 

Since its formal creation in early 2020 membership has expanded to include European retailers and processors. The group has already made considerable progress since its first meeting. In late March members held a workshop to develop an action plan to drive the work of the group over the next 12 to 36 months. A priority action is the creation of a Fisheries Improvement Project and a comprehensive engagement strategy with key decision-makers for herring and blue whiting.

Ally Dingwall, Sainsbury’s said: “Some progress has been made but there is no escaping that delivering long-term sustainable management of these fisheries presents a challenge. Coastal state governance issues mean that it has not been possible to agree a mechanism which establishes total allowable catches aligned to scientific advice for these fisheries. In the absence of any quick win solutions it is vital that the supply chain works together to drive improvements and influence change.”

Cameron Moffat, Young’s Seafood said: “The formal establishment of the North Atlantic Pelagic Advocacy Group represents a key milestone in addressing long standing issues in how these important fisheries are managed. It provides an opportunity for retailers and processors to work collaboratively to drive change”.  

Melissa Tillotson, Waitrose said: “By also focusing on blue whiting, NAPA is committed to driving improvements in this fishery which is such a vital component of the farmed salmon supply chain. It is important for Waitrose that it secures ‘end to end’ supply chain assurance across its seafood portfolio and our participation in NAPA is a means to achieve this.

Helena Delgado Nordman, Tesco  said: “The recently agreed Action Plan sets out an ambitious programme to help NAPA achieve its aims of securing an agreement on total allowable catches and for a long-term science-based management agreement. While members recognise there are no easy wins, there does need to be evidence of meaningful change to comply with the Sustainable Seafood Coalition Code of Conduct and ensure the long-term sustainability of the stock.”

Krishan Kent, Sweden Seafood Association said: “Although NAPA originated in the UK, the problems that it is seeking to address clearly affect the wider European supply chain. NAPA provides an opportunity for businesses from across Europe, whether they are a herring processor, a salmon feed manufacturer or a retailer, to work collectively to initiate change.”

Aoife Martin, Independent Chair of NAPA said: “There has been a great deal of work over the past six months to establish NAPA and to develop and agree the group’s Action Plan.  We are now ready to promote the group to potential members across Europe and I would encourage interested parties to get in touch to discuss how they might get involved.”

Tomolamola Consulting developed, and will implement the action plan while Seafish acts as independent chair and provides Treasurer Services on behalf of NAPA.  



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Aoife Martin, Independent Chair of NAPA on