Yellowfin caught by the PNA Western and Central Pacific free school purse seine fishery is now eligible to carry the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) ecolabel. The sales and marketing of the PNA MSC certified yellowfin tuna will be done through the PNA global marketing company for its MSC certified tuna, Pacifical.
The Parties of the Nauru Agreement (PNA) is the first major free school purse seine yellowfin tuna fishery to achieve MSC certification. The certified fishery catches around 140,000 tonnes of yellowfin tuna a year, accounting for half of all yellowfin caught within PNA waters.
“Healthy tuna populations are essential for both the environment and fishing economies,” says 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,” says Mr. 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.”
Meeting the robust requirements of the MSC Fisheries Standard means that yellowfin stocks are being fished sustainably and in a way which maintains a healthy, thriving marine environment.
This certification follows 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. The MSC Chain of Custody Standard requires that free swimming MSC certified catch is segregated from FAD associated catch, which is not certified.
The same conditions and validity period of the MSC certificate for the PNA free school skipjack will apply for yellowfin. The current certificate is valid until December 2016. To remain certified after this date the fishery will need to be reassessed to the MSC Fisheries Standard. “The PNA will undertake all necessary measures to ensure that next year’s reassessment is successful,” concludes Mr. Maurice Brownjohn.
Pacifical MSC certified tuna is now available in 12 different countries around the world. This includes Australia, where the leading brand, John West, announced just yesterday its strong brand commitment and cooperation with Pacifical MSC certified tuna to bring MSC certified skipjack tuna to the country’s shelves. Australian consumers will now have access to over 100 million cans of MSC certified tuna, sustainably sourced, free-school tuna, the largest offering of MSC tuna ever in the world.
It is expected that the increased future supply of MSC certified yellowfin could lead to more demand for this premium sustainably caught tuna from buyers in Italy, France and Spain, and not only from the canned segment, but also the frozen tuna market.