OPAGAC pledges EUR 7 million toward MSC certification drive; ASC teams up with Santa Monica Seafood

SeafoodSource is closely following the sustainable seafood movement by compiling a regular round-up of sector updates pertaining to eco-certifications.

- On June 1, the Marine Stewardship Council announced two tuna fisheries had achieved MSC certification. The Katsuo Ipon-zuri Gyogo albacore and skipjack pole-and-line fishery, located off the coast of Japan, became MSC-certified for on 3 April. Its MSC certification is valid until April 2028. The Eastern Pacific Ecuador Purse-Seine Tropical Tuna Fishery (FSC- and FAD-set fishery) received certification for its yellowfin tuna. The fishery located off the coast of Ecuador has a valid certification until December 2027.

 - On 25 May, Spain-based OPAGAC announced that Spanish tuna operators within the organization have made a EUR 7 million (USD 7.4 million) investment to ensure the group's annual 380,000-ton catch will be MSC-certified. The investment follows an investment of more than EUR 17 million (USD 18.2 million) OPAGAC put into six tropical tuna stocks between 2018 and 2022.

"To achieve the MSC seal for the remaining 50 percent of its catches, the fleet has two fishery improvement projects (FIPs) underway for skipjack tuna and bigeye from the Eastern Pacific and bigeye and yellowfin from the Pacific, with the forecast of entering evaluation at the end of 2026 and 2027, respectively. Finally, for skipjack and Atlantic bigeye, OPAGAC will start an improvement project this year," the organization said in a statement.

- Thai Union and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) announced a commitment to address marine wildlife bycatch through a partnership at the 2023 Seafood Expo Global in Barcelona, Spain, which ran from 25 to 27 April, Thai Union Director of Sustainability Adam Brennan signed the Protecting Ocean Wildlife Pledge that includes a commitment of 100 percent observer coverage, supporting science innovation projects, continuous improvement in Thai Union's supply chains, and public reporting, Thai Union said in a release

Thai Union and SFP are encouraging other seafood companies to join the cause and have set a goal of adding corporate partners to the pledge by 8 June, World Oceans Day. 

- The Aquaculture Stewardship Council has launched a summer promotion with Santa Monica, California U.S.A.-based Santa Monica Seafood. The "Sea Green. Be Green." campaign will promote the benefits of certified and responsible seafood, and ASC’s green label, to California consumers. 

“We can’t wait to ‘Sea Green. Be Green.’ this summer!” Santa Monica Seafood President and CEO Roger O’Brien said in a release. “We want to provide a simple message to our patrons: Look for the label. When you see ASC’s Sea Green certification label, you can have confidence that your seafood was raised responsibly, in accordance with Santa Monica Seafood’s highest quality promise, and with ASC’s assurance that seafood farms have met the strictest standards of care for the environment and surrounding communities. We’re excited to partner with ASC and this rock-star lineup of brands to inspire our retail and café customers through continued conversation and education.” 

The promotion will spotlight ASC-certified seafood from Riverence Provisions, Del Pacifico Seafoods, and Kvaroy Arctic. The promotion will kick off on 15 June. 

-The Global Seafood Alliance announced on 1 June its "Sustained by Seafood" campaign to support National Ocean Month and World Oceans Day on 8 June, by sharing new seafood recipes on its consumer website. The campaign will educate consumers about the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) eco-label and the more than 3,000 BAP producers worldwide, GSA said in a press release.

Photo courtesy of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership 


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