By SeafoodSource staff
Published on Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Retailers on three continents now are objecting to unsustainable fishing practices in the South Pacific, as South Africa’s Pick n Pay has announced an interest in Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified skipjack tuna sourced from the area.
The retailer, South Africa’s largest, has issued a public letter calling for MSC-certified skipjack tuna sourced from the eight Pacific island countries — Federate States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu — knows as the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA).
The waters off the PNA countries represent one of the largest skipjack tuna fisheries in the world, and earlier this year they received MSC certification, but many fishermen coming from other countries to fish off PNA coastlines do not use sustainable practices.
The authorities of the PNA countries have publicly stated they do not support this practice, and Pacifical, the company marketing PNA-sourced tuna, has urged retailers to support only their MSC-certified product.
The retailers appear to be listening. Over the past few months, three in Europe — Switzerland’s Coop, Austria’s SPAR and Denmark’s Dansk — have issued similar letters, and in Australia, Coles Supermarkets has also joined the protest against unsustainable fishing, pledging only to carry Pacifical tuna sourced from the area.
All of the companies are major retailers, and Pick n Pay is South Africa’s largest, with an annual turnover of USD 6.4 billion (EUR 4.8 billion). The retailer has promised to only stock MSC-certified wild seafood products, including tuna, by the end of 2015.