Yellowfin tuna from PNA fishery scores MSC approval
The Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) blue ecolabel is now eligible to grace the packaging of yellowfin tuna caught by the PNA Western and Central Pacific free school purse seine fishery.
The certification is notably novel – the Parties of the Nauru Agreement (PNA) is the first major free school purse seine yellowfin tuna fishery to achieve MSC certification. The fishery is responsible for 140,000 metric tons of yellowfin tuna catch annually, accounting for half of the yellowfin ascertained from PNA waters.
“Healthy tuna populations are essential for both the environment and fishing economies,” said Nicolas Guichoux, Global Commercial Director at the Marine Stewardship Council. “The MSC Fisheries Standard provides a robust set of requirements to assess the sustainability of tuna fisheries. By achieving this Standard, the PNA has shown a huge commitment to securing a sustainable future for its oceans and fishing industry.”
“This is a very progressive step for the tuna industry,” added Maurice Brownjohn, PNA Commercial Director. “The PNA looks forward to working with brands, restaurants and retailers to increase the supply of MSC labelled sustainable tuna. PNA tuna sold with the MSC ecolabel also carries the Pacifical logo in clear representation of the end market’s commitment to the PNA island nations as custodians and protectors of a truly valuable marine resource throughout centuries and the generations to come.”
By earning an MSC distinction, the yellowfin stocks caught by the fishery are confirmed to be sustainably fished. The approval comes on the heels of an expedited assessment by SCS Global Services of yellowfin caught by the already-certified PNA skipjack fishery. “This means that the strict requirements already in place for skipjack are now extended to include catches of yellowfin, including yellowfin tuna found in free school skipjack sets,” explained MSC.
Yellowfin will undergo the same conditions and validity period of the MSC certificate for the PNA free school skipjack. The fishery’s current certificate is permissible through to December 2016; afterwards, the fishery will need to be reassessed by the MSC Fisheries Standard.
“The PNA will undertake all necessary measures to ensure that next year’s reassessment is successful,” concluded Brownjohn.