Shock photos were from environmentally certified company
The company behind the massive discards of sardines in Western Sahara is certified by Friend of the Sea for sustainable sardine fisheries. UPDATE: Friend of the Sea state company no longer is certified.
UPDATE: The story below were published at 12:12 on 19. Nov. Friend fo the Sea has later same day stated to Western Sahara Resource Watch that the company is no longer certified by Friend of the Sea. "Please be informed that anyway LGMC certificate has expired and we have not received request for renewal so far", Friend of the Sea wrote to WSRW
According to Friend of the Sea at the time, “the stocks are closely monitored by the Moroccan officials INRH (Institut National de Recherche Halieutique) and the ONP (Office National de Pêche)”.
Mr Omar Bennani, the LGMC’s Development & Strategy Manager proudly declared during the announcement, “I am pleased to have been awarded the Friend of the Sea certification as this proves to our consumers that we care about marine preservation and our selectivity means we only catch best quality products.”
Western Sahara Resource Watch calls on Friend of the Sea to immediately withdraw the certification of LGMC following the images of 60 tonnes discard episode posted on WSRW.org on 19 November 2013.
“Friend of the Sea should of immediate effect annul the certification given to LGMC. We also ask Friend of the Sea to withdraw any other certification issued to companies operating in Western Sahara. The images show that the Moroccan management of the fish stocks in the waters that it occupies is far from good enough to legitimize environmental approvals in that territory”, stated Western Sahara in a mail to Friend of the Sea today.
LGMC SA is a company that specializes in the production of canned fish and is a leader in Morocco. The Company owns several production sites, including three in Safi and one in Agadir on Moroccan Atlantic coast. All sites are controlled and managed by LGMC’s head office based in Casablanca. LGMC’s sales are mainly oriented to Europe (in particular Germany, UK, France, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic...), Africa, the Middle East and North America. LGMC’s products are equally sold under LGMC’s own brands (the two main being ANNY and JOSIANE) and white labels.
Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the three different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.