A coalition of two pole and line trading companies, together with a group of small NGOs, a few scientists, as well as one South African and one Swiss retailer, have formed the organization ‘On The Hook’, which claims on its website to be “protecting the world’s largest tuna fishery” by going against MSC and our PNA MSC certified free school skipjack and yellowfin fisheries. All major retailers, brands and NGOs that play an important role in the tuna business have decided not to support the ‘On The Hook’ coalition.
The sad fact is that “On The Hook” has never involved itself in any constructive dialogue with the PNA, neither with Pacifical, and apparently has no other clear goal than trying to prevent our free school fishery being re-certified. We have yet to hear any constructive idea from this group on how they think the PNA eco-system should be protected, and its fisheries sustainably managed.
The name of the coalition already suggests a strong relation to pole and line. However it is remarkable that only four market parties that are involved in the trading of pole and line tuna are mentioned; John Burton’s company World Wise Foods and its small Dutch customer Fish Tales, along with the two retailers. There is no sign of support from the IPNLF (The International Pole and Line Foundation), nor from any of their industry members, except the four earlier mentioned companies.
We as Pacifical have always been supportive of pole and line fishing. We also have MSC certified pole and line fishing ongoing within PNA waters, however unfortunately the bold reality is that we could not supply large parts of the world population with nutritious and healthy sustainably-caught wild tuna, if we would only catch them one by one. That is why PNA and Pacifical have worked very hard together to make our purse seine free school fisheries sustainable and to the level where they were certified by the MSC; a certification which has already been held for five years. This enables us to provide a much larger group of consumers with affordable sustainable tuna year-round, which could never be fulfilled by pole and line.
We invite ‘On The Hook’ to come with constructive proposals on sustainably managed tuna fisheries and how they would create real change, and stimulate fishermen around the world to switch from destructive fishing techniques to sustainable methods.