Who is Pacifical?
Pacifical is the global tuna marketing company jointly set up by the 8 PNA Pacific Island nations in 2011, to promote and actively trade their MSC certified sustainably caught free school skipjack and yellowfin tuna, caught in the pristine and tuna rich waters of their countries.
Who owns Pacifical?
Pacifical c.v is a 50/50 joint venture between the association of the PNA nations and Sustunable B.V of the Netherlands, a company which since 2008 has been a pioneer in developing and marketing tuna caught exclusively on free schools, and without the use of FADs.
Why is the Pacifical logo on my MSC tuna product?
The Pacifical logo serves as a geographic indicator, bringing recognition to the PNA region. It informs consumers about the origin of the high quality MSC certified tuna that is inside the product they have bought. Pacifical tuna is caught in the pristine waters of the PNA and it is 100% traceable from the moment of catch, all the way to the can found in the cupboard. The logo represents the support and contribution of the supermarket chain or brand to the development of the PNA people, their nations, economies and the extensive efforts taken by these small countries to preserve their tuna resources for the world’s future generations.
Does Pacifical Fish, Process, Sell and Invoice Tuna products?
No, Pacifical does not fish, process, sell or invoice any tuna products. The company is purely a marketing service organization that focuses on developing global markets and customers for MSC certified tuna caught within the PNA waters, as well as guarding the integrity of the entire MSC Chain of Custody, from the moment of catch to delivery to the consumer. Pacifical has MOUs (Memorandums of Understanding) with many partners that fish, process, sell and deliver the MSC tuna from the PNA.
Which tuna products can Pacifical offer?
Pacifical develops supply chains for sustainable products packed by our processing partners from only two types of tuna: MSC certified sustainable skipjack and yellowfin tuna caught exclusively in PNA waters. From these two species a wide range of frozen, pre-cooked, canned, pouched, and dried products are created.
What is the Pacifical Sustainable Catching Method?
Pacifical tuna is caught by a method called “purse seining on free schools”, by setting and encircling a net around only free swimming schools of skipjack and yellowfin tuna. These large industrial fishing vessels (purse seiners) encircle schools of adult fish, pull a large net around them, and then close the net at the bottom, creating a purse. This purse is then tightened so that all the fish comes together tightly. After this, the tuna is scooped out and loaded into the freezing wells of the boat. The fish is frozen onboard within minutes after the catch, preserving the highest level of quality.
What are the quality standards of tuna products carrying the Pacifical and MSC logos?
Products carrying the Pacifical and MSC logo have no pre-set standards in terms of quality and taste, only on sustainability and social accountability. Pacifical is involved in all elements, which are related to the development, catching, processing, distribution and marketing of the product. However quality standards are set by the brand or retailer.
How traceable are the products from Pacifical?
We can provide 100% traceability from sea to shelf to any of our customers. This is how it works in practice:
An MSC trip number and an MSC trained observer would be assigned by the PNA Office to a fishing vessel. The observer onboard updates the catching data several times per day via satellite, using a tablet, which feeds the PNA computer system “FIMS” with data such as species, quantity, location, amount of catch and bycatch and all the other catch related data. The FIMS data system is directly linked to our Pacifical IT platform.
The processor connects the production batch number online in the Pacifical system with the MSC trip number under which the fish was caught. Then, by only entering the tracking code or scanning a QR code on the pack, distributors and consumers around the world can verify the sustainable method with which their tuna was caught, where and when it was caught, by which vessel, and when and where it was processed.
What is a Pacifical MOU?
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) is a nonbinding agreement between Pacifical and the company willing to process, market and sell MSC tuna from the PNA waters. It outlines the terms and details of an understanding between Pacifical and its fishing, processing, distribution and trading partners on how to work together.
What is PNA?
PNA stands for “Parties to the Nauru Agreement” and it is made up of 8 countries in the Western and Central Pacific: Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu. These small island nations, but also large ocean states, have been closely cooperating for the last 20 years to manage and preserve their own tuna resources in a sustainable and socially responsible way.
What is the percentage of the world’s tuna found in the PNA area?
About 25% of the world’s tuna is caught each year within PNA waters, also around 50% of the world’s skipjack is found in our zone. These territorial waters cover an area 40% bigger than the European Union.
Who manages the tuna stocks in the PNA?
Pacifical MSC certified skipjack and yellowfin tuna is caught in the PNA waters. These waters are jointly managed by the PNA countries. These are island nations that take part in the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). The WCPFC is the Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMO) in this ocean area. The WCPFC employs scientists who analyze all the data being generated by the onboard observers and regularly assesses the health of regional tuna stocks. All member nations of the WCPFC, the resource owners and the fishing countries, come together to try and jointly agree on how to manage WCPO stocks.
What is the eligible volume of MSC tuna that can be caught in PNA waters?
The eligible volume of MSC Pacifical tuna that can be caught in the PNA is 800,000mt (600,000mt SKJ and 200,000mt YF), which is about 20% of the global tuna catch.
Is there whole year around MSC SKJ and YF tuna available from the PNA waters?
Yes, there is free school catch available throughout the year. Peak season is during a period of 4 months (July to October), when FAD fishing is forbidden in the PNA and WCPO region.
Which MSC certifications does the PNA fishery hold?
PNA holds an MSC Fishery Certificate and MSC Chain of Custody Certificate.
In which FAO zones are the PNA MSC SKJ and YF tuna caught?
In FAO zone 77 and 71. The majority of the MSC tuna is caught in zone 77.
Is MSC tuna from PNA waters dolphin friendly?
Yes, within the Western Central Pacific the observed catches of dolphins and other marine mammals is very low, e.g. around 0.0009% for six different dolphin species. The discard rate is very high (over 99%) and post-release survival chances are high.
Furthermore, during the MSC assessment this situation was studied and the information gathered provides independent and peer reviewed evidence that the purse seine setting on unassociated (non-FAD) free schools of the PNA fishery is not targeting, or harming any species of dolphin.
To meet the MSC standard a fishery must be able to demonstrate that it does not put at risk population levels of species caught incidentally (bycatch), including dolphins, other mammals and/or other endangered and threatened species.
Does PNA have Social Accountability Guidelines for Purse Seine Tuna Fishing Vessels?
Pacifical has established Social Accountability Guidelines for all vessels involved in its MSC certified sustainable tuna fishery. The new guidelines are unique, as they cover over 300 industrial fishing and transport vessels from more than 10 different nations, working in one of world’s most complex and extensive seafood supply chains. The aim behind this initiative is to safeguard the welfare of the over 5,000 crew members living onboard these vessels, which fish and distribute tuna in the remote waters of PNA Pacific island nations.
What are FADs?
FAD stands for “Fish Aggregating Device”: Manmade floating objects put in the marine ecosystem to accumulate skipjack tuna in particular (the most common tuna species in the ocean). But within weeks an entire ocean ecosystem starts to group underneath the FAD and therefore the device not only attracts tuna in large quantities, but also turtles, sharks and many juvenile tuna (bigeye and yellowfin), which are not targeted catch.
The small skipjack caught on FADs are mostly mature, around 1.8 kg to 2.0 kg, but the yellowfin and bigeye caught in the same net are often the same size (juvenile). This is where the ecosystem is being harmed the most. The larger yellowfin and bigeye only become mature when they are from 18 kg or more, so if caught at about 2.0 kg or less, it means they will never reproduce. Often, the amount that these juvenile tuna species make up of FAD catch is between 20-25%.
Why do all these species accumulate under a FAD?
The reason why drifting ocean communities of sea life accumulate under the FAD is debated, however the most common used explanation is that FADs create a shade and disruption of the light coming from the ocean surface. Such environment provides protection to juvenile bigeye and yellowfin tuna, while also giving them a good food supply of various tiny fish, which increases their chances of survival.
Why buy a “sustainable MSC certified skipjack” if the skipjack stock is not overfished?
The urgent need for the sustainable catch of skipjack is not solely focused on the conservation of the species, but above all on the reduction and elimination of the by-catch of non-targeted species, often baby bigeye tuna, from the unsustainable catching method often used to catch skipjack: purse seining on FADs.