SADSTIA secretary appointed to MSC Stakeholder Council

Secretary of SADSTIA, Dr Johann Augustyn, has been appointed to the Marine Stewardship Council’s 36-member Stakeholder Council.

The Stakeholder Council is an advisory body that provides the MSC with advice, recommendations and informed opinions on the certification body’s fishery and chain of custody standards and their implementation through the MSC programme. Its members reflect a broad range of geographies and spheres of interest and, as such, are able to offer diverse perspectives on the MSCs operations. It is also a formal channel through which all stakeholders − whether members of the Stakeholder Council or not − can provide their views to the MSC.

The Stakeholder Council is made up of two categories: a Commercial and Socio-economic category; and a Public Interest category. Dr Augustyn has been appointed to the Commercial and Socio-economic category.

Prior to his appointment as secretary of SADSTIA, Dr Augustyn worked at a senior level in the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF). He is a marine scientist by profession and his long career in fisheries management stands him in good stead to make a unique contribution to the stakeholder body.

“I am looking forward to interacting with people all over the world, who are also committed to working with the MSC to encourage the sustainable management of global fisheries,” said Dr Augustyn who will attend his first Stakeholder Council meeting in Madrid, Spain, early next year.

As the secretary of SADSTIA, Dr Augustyn played a key role in the recent re-certification of the South African trawl fishery for hake by the Marine Stewardship Council, the world’s leading certification and eco-labelling program for sustainable wild-caught seafood. In May, the 51 trawler owners and operators who are SADSTIA’s members, received word that the MSC had approved a further five-year certification for the fishery which has been certified by the MSC since 2004. The latest certification comes after a rigorous 12-month re-assessment process during which an independent certification agency scrutinised every aspect of the fishery’s management and once again found it to comply with the MSC’s main principles.

Dr Augustyn will serve on the Stakeholder Council of the MSC for a period of three years.