Pelagic fishing fleet and Greenpeace join forces for sustainable fisheries

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Press Release
August 31th, 2016.

The Pelagic Freezer-trawler Association (PFA) and its member companies Parlevliet & Van der Plas, Cornelis Vrolijk and W. van der Zwan, signed today a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Greenpeace. Shared objective is to achieve a sustainable (pelagic) fisheries, such as the herring and mackerel fishery, and a healthy balance between fisheries and the marine environment. PFA will not explore until now unfished areas in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

“This is an important step for sustainable fisheries. We have agreed that PFA will not enter into fishing in the Arctic and Antarctic areas. We also will cooperate on the improvement of fisheries management of pelagic resources. We are happy to support the PFA in achieving these ambitions”, says Sylvia Borren, departing director of Greenpeace.
Gerard Balsfoort of the PFA: “It is unique in the world that Greenpeace and the fishing industry have agreed to collaborate this way. We have come to a sound set of agreements on issues such as the collection of scientific data and on how to contribute to an effective regional fisheries management in West Africa. I consider this as very positive and as a recognition of our efforts and our ambitions expressed in this MoU. This is important for fishermen, marine nature and a sustainable future.”

The agreement
The agreements in the MoU recognize the leading role of the PFA:
• in the collection of scientific data and scientific research regarding (pelagic) resources, avoiding bycatch, improving selectivity and the impact on the marine ecosystem, and
• in constructively contributing to effective fisheries management in all regions where members of the PFA have a pelagic fishing operation.
• Both parties also agreed that the PFA member companies refrain from entering into fishing in the until now unfished areas in the Arctic and Antarctic and to work together in improving regional fisheries management in West Africa.
PFA and Greenpeace will entertain an ongoing dialogue on all issues listed in the MoU.
The duration of the agreement is set at ten years.

Mediation
Both Greenpeace and the PFA express their appreciation for the constructive role played by the Dutch employer’s organization VNO-NCW as mediator and adviser during the discussions that led to this MOU.

Further contact:
Greenpeace: Elles in ‘t Hout, press officer:  +316 25031014, elles.in.t.hout@greenpeace.org
PFA: Gerard van Balsfoort, president PFA: +31 651 411 431 of gbalsfoort@pelagicfish.eu
VNO-NCW: Edwin van Scherrenburg, press officer, 06-30417005 of scherrenburg@vnoncw-mkb.nl

Download the memorandum of understanding here.