Tri Marine, SAPMER, AGAC get MSC nods for tuna fisheries; Holland America nabs MSC, ASC certifications for 11 cruise ships

ASC employees working in Ghana at a fishery
ASC employees working in Ghana at a fishery I Photo courtesy of ASC
6 Min

SeafoodSource is closely following the sustainable seafood movement by compiling a regular round-up of sector updates about sustainability initiatives and certifications.

- Hawthorn, Australia-based supermarket company Coles Supermarket announced that its own-brand canned tuna product line will feature the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label in September and is the first Australian supermarket to achieve the certification for its canned tuna line. 

“By adding the MSC blue fish tick label to all Coles-brand canned tuna, we’re demonstrating the great lengths we are going to to make sustainable choices more accessible and more convenient for our customers,”  Coles Own-Brand, Quality, and Responsible Sourcing General Manager Charlotte Rhodes said in a release. “This important milestone will see Coles have the largest MSC-certified own-brand seafood range in the country and be on track to become the first Aussie supermarket to have its entire canned fish range be third-party certified by the leading global standards for sustainable seafood.” 

Coles said 45 own-brand canned tuna products will now feature the MSC checkmark, including Coles Tuna Chunks, Pacific brand Yellowfin Tuna, and Wild Tides, the company said.

- Global cruise ship line Holland America Line has achieved both MSC​ and Aquaculture Stewardship Council​ (ASC)​ certifications for 11 of its ships. 

“Our guests care about the quality and sustainability of the fresh fish we serve, and so do we,” Holland America Line President Gus Antorcha said in a release. “These certifications build on our commitment ​to bringing​​ ​regionally inspired fresh seafood dishes from port to plate in 48 hours. We’re proud to partner with two organizations that share our dedication to protecting the vitality of the oceans we sail.”

Holland America Line is the first cruise ship line to achieve both certifications, the company said.

The line offers seafood products including barramundi, Tasmanian Atlantic salmon, Canadian and New England haddock, Hawaiian swordfish, Mediterranean sardines, Mexican tuna, Dover sole, and Chilean sea bass.

- The U.S. state of Washington’s wine industry announced a partnership between the state’s sustainability certification for wine grapes – Sustainable WA – and a U.S. regional eco-label focused on watershed protection – Salmon-Safe.

The certification partnership will enhance water quality protection, wildlife habitat conservation, and climate resiliency, the organizations said in a release.

“We are thrilled to have this partnership with Salmon-Safe, bringing these associations together for dual certification in support of sustainable practices and water quality protection for our Washington wine industry. This harmonization of the Sustainable WA certification program showcases our industry’s commitment to continuous improvement and best practices,” Washington Winegrowers Association Executive Director Colleen Frei said in a release. 

-The ASC partnered with the Ghana Chamber of Aquaculture to organize a workshop to discuss the role of responsible aquaculture in the country. 

The workshop, co-organized by the U.K. government’s Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) Ocean Country Partnership Program, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum’s Blue Food Partnership Ghana Initiative, took place from 27 to 28 February. 

“We are proud to support the Blue Foods Partnership (BFP) in Ghana and work toward the collective improvement of aquaculture as part of responsible food systems,” ASC Improver Program Lead Roy van Daatselaar said in a release. “Ghana is a frontrunner in Africa when it comes to professionalizing and transforming its local aquaculture industry. Through collaboration, investments, and research, the potential to contribute to the regional food security agenda is promising. Responsible aquaculture is key in this vision, and ASC is happy to support the industry in Ghana toward success.”

Issues highlighted during the workshop included environmental and social pain points, new aquaculture production technologies aimed at improving safety, and fish health management practices. 

- Round Island Barramundi, produced by Sri Lankan aquaculture operation Oceanpick, has archived ASC certification.

“The ASC has some of the highest standards for aquaculture operations,” Oceanpick Founder Irfan Thassim said in a LinkedIn release. “Achieving these has always been our goal, and being recognized for it has been a dream. Our team has been dedicated to producing supreme, yet sustainable seafood, so this is a phenomenal milestone for us and a validation of the trust our customers and partners have had in us over the years.”

-The Asociación de Grandes Atuneros Congeladores (AGAC) has received MSC certification for its skipjack tuna in the Atlantic. 

AGAC is the first fishery to receive the sustainability certification for the same species in all four oceans, the company said in a release.

"Achieving certification under the MSC Standard for around 80 percent of our total catch seemed impossible back in 2012 when we established our Code of Good Practices,” AGAC General Manager Julio Morón said in a release. “The fact that all the listed stocks of tuna that we fish have been certified also shows that the work of the regional fisheries management organizations [RFMOs] is delivering results. Our ambition is to achieve certification for 100 percent of our capture in the next few years, working collaboratively through RFMOs with all the countries and interested parties in the fishing world.”

- Tuna Australia announced it's working on achieving MSC certification for its southern bluefin tuna.

Tuna Australia has partnered with Fisheries Research Development Corporation (FRDC) to partially fund the initiative, the organization said in a release

"Achieving MSC certification for southern bluefin tuna will demonstrate the fishery is sustainable and allow local fishing businesses to open up new domestic and international markets previously inaccessible,” Tuna Australia CEO David Ellis said. “This is a fantastic initiative that will enhance national and international resilience."

Tuna Australia obtained MSC certification in August 2020 for four of its five target fish species in the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery, which features yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna, albacore tuna, and broadbill swordfish catch.

- MarinTrust, a marine ingredients certification organization headquartered in London, England, announced that new applicants for its MarinTrust Program for Responsible Sourcing and Production of Marine Ingredients must apply for audits against the new version of its Factory Standard (Version 3, or V3). 

Its one-year transitional period allows certificate holders to prepare for audits, the company said. It expects all companies to be certified against the new version from 1 May 2025.

“This new version encompasses a bold step for our industry and value chain, and we are extremely proud of all the work that has gone into its development. With around 6 million tons of marine ingredients, mostly fishmeal and fish oil, produced globally, 48 percent of which are, to date, certified against the MarinTrust Standard, this new version will have a hugely positive impact around the world,” MarinTrust CEO Francisco Aldon said in a release.

- Bellevue, Washington, U.S.A.-based fishing company Tri Marine achieved MSC certification for skipjack tuna sourced from the Eastern Pacific by its Spanish and Ecuadorian fleet.

The certification applies to its skipjack tuna caught within waters overseen by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), the company said in a release. 

The fleet already obtained MSC certification for skipjack, bigeye, and yellowfin caught in the waters overseen by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). 

To achieve MSC certification for skipjack in the IATTC, the fleet initiated a fisheries improvement project in 2016 and then undertook an MSC pre-assessment in 2019,” Tri Marine said in a release. “The fishery then moved into MSC full assessment in 2020. Yellowfin received full certification in 2021 followed by skipjack in 2024. This achievement marks a significant step toward Tri Marine’s dedication to quality and sustainability in the tuna industry.”

- Reunion Island, France-based fishing company SAPMER achieved MSC certification for the third time. 

The company was recognized by MSC for its leadership in sustainable fishing for its skipjack tuna purse seine fishery, which is located in the Indian Ocean.

“SAPMER is a longstanding partner that is fully committed to a rigorous and demanding sustainability approach for all its fisheries,” MSC France Head of Fisheries Caroline Gamblin said in a release. “We congratulate them for achieving MSC certification for the third time! Alongside the Compagnie Française du Thon Océanique [CFTO], this is a major step forward for the French fishing industry in improving the sustainability of tuna fishing in the Indian Ocean."

This certification was awarded after 18 months of auditing and evaluation by the certification body Control Union.

SAPMER will be joining the certification scheme initiated by CFTO in 2021 to mutualize actions and initiatives within ORTHONGEL, which is the French professional organization for frozen and deep-frozen tuna producers, and strengthen the sustainability of the French tuna fishery. This means that the three French-flagged SAPMER vessels, registered in La Réunion and Mayotte, both of which are French islands in the Indian Ocean, have joined the CFTO certificate.

SeafoodSource Premium

Become a Premium member to unlock the rest of this article.

Continue reading ›

Already a member? Log in ›


Want seafood news sent to your inbox?

You may unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. Diversified Communications | 121 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101 | +1 207-842-5500