Many of you have been aproaching us with the question when you can finally buy MSC certified skipjack tuna? Unfortunately we do not have a precise final date for you yet! But we are confident it will definitely be within this year 2011!
Why is it taking so long?
Well first of all we had the assesment process for MSC, during which our skipjack fisheries and its management have gone through almost 18 months of intense scrutinyby the assessing team led by intertek Moody Marine.
This is possibly the biggest and most comprehensive assessment ever under MSC. July 12th the draft final assessment report was delivered by Moody to the MSC. On that day the MSC also invited all stakeholders to give their comments on that report, which is the normal MSC procedure. They gave them 15 working days to react.
As expected and announced in advance the Spanish (OPAGAG) and European Tuna industry ( Eurothon) along with the ISSF( a coalition of major global tuna brands and traders with a group of scientists and WWF ) each launched their objection notice, all at the same date : August 3rd.
When we read these objections on the MSC website we found that the comments by the European and Spanish industries were both 100% identical and the ISSF report mirrored all of their comments and added a few more.
Well, we at pacifical and the PNA were not really surprised, because ISSF had already boldly publicly said on April 27th: “The world will have to wait” for MSC approved free school caught skipjack from the PNA.
So they now are doing their utmost to ensure it is not going to happen anytime soon, by raising a heap of objections. ISSF submitted 27 pages of arguments! Kind of weird coming from a sustainable seafood alliance, backed commercially by the large global brands, and associated global fleets, especially when you consider that Greenpeace, WWF and other NGO’s did not submit any major comments, and these organizations fully support the PNA in its efforts.
MSC has given the PNA, Moody and other interested parties 20 working days to react to this pile of objections, so by September 6th they will need to have their answer ready. An independent adjudicator, has been appointed and after reading the submissions, will determine if indeed mistakes, procedural errors or irregularities in the assessment have taken place, and if they are serious enough to deny the certification or if additional research is needed.
We at Pacifical feel confident that the assessment is extremely solid, and that you will able to buy MSC certified free school skipjack tuna within this year!