By SeafoodSource staff
Published on Sunday, November 25 2012
Skipjack tuna from the Maldives may now carry the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)’s ecolabel, after the Maldives pole-and-line fishery received MSC certification, the MSC announced today.
In its statement, the MSC noted that pole-and-line fishing has been common practice in the Maldives for centuries, and the fishery became a member of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) in 2011. The Maldives also put a shark fishing and export ban into effect in 2010, and recently announced that the entire country would become a biosphere reserve within the next five years, meaning the country would only allow sustainable fishing practices.
“Certification of this fishery constitutes an example of the benefits of improved governance focused on sustainability,” said IOTC Executive Secretary Alejandro Anganuzzi. “This is a positive incentive for the IOTC members to continue tackling the challenges that still remain.”
The certification allows members of the client group, Maldives Seafood Processors and Exporters Association, to put the label on their skipjack tuna.
“Maldivians take pride in their skipjack pole-and-line fishery — a sustainable fishery that has thrived for over a millennium by catching tuna one by one,” said Hussain Rasheed Hassan, minister of state for fisheries and agriculture. “Maldivians are grateful and delighted that at last the world has recognized, through open and transparent scrutiny, the sustainable nature of our fishery — a fact that we have always believed. We thank all stakeholders, the MSC and our certifier for their support.”
The certification lasts for five years.