COVID-19: PNA announces MSC CoC Temporary Variation on Observer Coverage

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the PNA countries and Pacifical have implemented a temporary variation to its chain of custody (CoC) to reflect the unprecedented force majeure situation the world is currently facing.

“The PNA nations are extremely small and vulnerable island economies. In order to maintain virus-free status, rigid quarantine measures have had to be implemented to protect the health of the people and all parties involved in the supply of sustainable MSC certified Pacifical tuna at-sea.  Utmost attention has been paid to preserving the integrity and validation of the PNA COC scheme with full traceability, and maintaining consistency in supply” Says Maurice Brownjohn, MSC Manager and Commercial Director to the PNA.

Variation on the 100% observer Coverage Requirement: The PNA COC scheme is recognized as being above and beyond MSC CoC standards.

Besides the MSC requirements, the PNA CoC scheme requires parallel data streams from industry and compliance sources from pre-trip to the processor. All discharged loads are checked for species composition, mass balances are verified and other validations are conducted before an “MSC Eligible” batch of tuna may be certified as “MSC” and continue on in the PACIFICAL supply chain.

With inter-island flights suspended and ports closed, 100% placement of physical onboard observers has been temporarily suspended. A measure reflected now by the WCP tuna commission for the entire fishery. The PNA and Pacifical completely support all precautionary temporary measures taken to protect the health of all members across the chain.

All other aspects of the PNA CoC are maintained, further enhanced by additional mandatory measures. Daily E-reporting via satellite of regional purse seine logsheets and detailed discharge reports from receiving facilities are now compulsory in addition to physical monitoring where possible. These discharge reports must be supported by photographic evidence.

Reaction of SCS Global Services (Certification Assessment Body for PNA).

“In response to the agreement of WCPFC and members to temporarily suspend the requirements for observer coverage on purse seine vessels, SCS was provided with and reviewed documentation of a temporary variation to the MSC CoC Policies of the client for the PNA’s MSC CoC certificate (MSC-C-53088). SCS finds this documented provision acceptable and that PNA’s activities related to internal audits remain in compliance with the MSC CoC requirements for vessels already part of the CoC certificate through the end of the proposed suspension.” – Said Jason Swecker, Director Sales and Marketing – Seafood. SCS Global Services (Certification Assessment Body for PNA).

Pacifical partners can rest assured that our multilayer checks and balances will remain in place to ensure that the full integrity of our un-paralleled chain of custody is kept intact. All other PNA MSC CoC requirements will remain unchanged. This includes double netting to segregate MSC eligible catches onboard and in transit, MSC signage, consistent physical segregation of all MSC certified and non-MSC batches and records of all movements in the supply chain.

“Our Pacifical CoC offers also offers a blockchain platform for extra verification until the finished MSC tuna products reach final market. This is backed by the Ethereum blockchain, giving our partners and their customers’ unrivalled traceability and confidence for their MSC certified tuna products carrying the Pacifical Geographical Indication.” Said Brownjohn.