We could not start fishing until we had independent verification that the COC scheme in the huge PNA tuna catching area (which is 40% bigger than Europe) had all the measures, control and monitoring system in place to guard the integrity of the MSC catch on over a hundred purse seiners and carriers. This is not a small task.
To ensure the right free school sustainable method is applied, and that catches are kept at all times separated from non-sustainable catches all throughout the supply chain, for the last 1,5 years we have been training observers, port managers, captains, crews, company staffs, and many more in numerous locations within the PNA. This has been one hell of a challenge with sustained opposition to the certification from other schemes, but we are now finally coming to the point where MSC free school skipjack tuna can be delivered.
The system which guards the integrity of the sustainable MSC eligible catch we call the MSC Chain of custody. In February, an independent specialized auditor has done an impartial risk assessment and evaluation, the scheme fine tuned and the report are currently being finalized by the certification body. After the MSC has evaluated the report, it will announce a final decision. We are confident to say that we expect to have that final positive decision before the date of the European Tuna Conference: April 22nd 2013.