Asaro’s vessels operate in the Mediterranean and off Western Africa. Image: Friend of the Sea

Italian ship owner Asaro's fleet, which catches a number of species in the Mediterranean and in Atlantic waters off the coast of Senegal, has obtained Friend of the Sea’s certification for its wild catch.

A third-party auditor has assessed the compliance of the company’s fishing activities with Friend of the Sea's sustainability requirements in situ in Mazara del Vallo and Dakar. The assessment confirmed that all species are frozen and packed on board according to a unique management system. Traceability and labelling systems are in place to ensure that certified wild caught fish is not stocked or mingled with other species.

The Twenty Four and the Francesco Padre, fishing for Aristaeomorpha foliacea in FAO areas 37.20/21/23/26/24/25 have been audited in Mazara del Vallo harbour.

The FAO General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean's latest study (GFCM, 2016) states that this species in particular, commonly known as giant red shrimp, is not overfished.

The Twenty and the Orion, which operate in the Sierra Leone waters (FAO areas 34.3.1) have been audited in the Port of Dakar for common octopus (Octopus vulgaris), catfish (Arius heudelotii), common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis), southern pink shrimp (Penaeus notialis), deep water rose shrimp (Parapenaeus longirostris), bobo croaker (Pseudotolithus elongates), sole (Cynoglossus senegalensis) and red pandora (Pagellus belotti).

While labour conditions have been found to be respected, Friend of the Sea has recommended that the company put in place a system of carbon footprint monitoring while assessing the overall impact of its activities on the marine environment. Moreover, they are committed to installing CCTV cameras on board in time for the next fishing season.

Asaro Matteo Cosimo Vincenzo srl was founded in 1946 by Gaspare Asaro at Mazara del Vallo in south-west Sicily. The introduction of freezing technology allowed the company to expand its activities beyond the Mediterranean.

‘We should always thank our fathers, Matteo and Enzo Asaro, who made it possible for this company to become a leader in the Italian market,’ commented Gaspare Asaro.

‘What the fishing industry needs nowadays is to increase its approach to protect the marine environment. For this reason, we have chosen to join the Friend of the Sea. In order to reach long-term sustainability, the first step must come from us. One of the first actions we took consist of reducing the catch of those fish (such as Mustellus-Musuellus) that are more vulnerable.’

‘We consider the affiliation of an historic ship owner such as Asaro an important demonstration of the fact that the fishing industry is changing for good throughout the years and generations of fishermen in Italy and abroad,’ said Friend of the Sea director Paolo Bray.

‘I’m confident that by awarding an important player operating in the West Africa region, other companies will follow this path.’

Source: Friend of the Sea