San Diego, California, U.S.A.-based Bumble Bee Seafood and its parent company, FCF Co., announced on 24 May they will be pursuing Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for two of their tuna fisheries.
The companies will pursue MSC fishery assessments of two longline fisheries that span multiple nations, including Taiwan, Fiji, Vanuatu, and others. The fishery covers three oceans, three tuna species, and more than 250 longline vessels, predominantly catching albacore tuna. The fisheries represent approximately 50 percent of Bumble Bee’s entire albacore tuna production.
“This is a big step forward for Bumble Bee and FCF,” FCF Co. President Max Chou said. “But it is just one step in our continued commitment to unwavering focus on restoring and protecting the health of oceans.”
Bumble Bee said it expects the assessments to be completed by the end of 2022 and MSC certification soon afterwards. The assessments will be carried out by conformity assessment body Control Union and will determine whether the fisheries meet the MSC fisheries standard’s three core principles and 28 scoring indicators.
“Once certified, these longline vessels will begin supplying MSC certified albacore, yellowfin, and bigeye tuna in 2023,” the company said.
For the past two years, both fisheries have been involved in fishery improvement project organized by Bumble Bee, FCF, and non-profit organization Ocean Outcomes. The FIPs “work to protect the abundance of tuna stocks, mitigate fishing impact on other species, and ensure that fisheries are monitored and well-managed.”
Last year, Bumble Bee introduced its now-annual “Seafood Future Report,” in which it committed to guaranteeing all its seafood would either be certified as sustainable or in a formal program moving toward certification by 2025.
“Our purpose is simple, important, and two-fold. We want to help feed the world and protect our oceans, and we can’t do the first without focusing on the second,” Bumble Bee President and CEO Jan Tharp said. “MSC certification is a key pathway to achieving this and with FCF as our partner, we have been able to accelerate our certification efforts and move more quickly and efficiently toward meeting the goals we set last year.”