Press release

John West Australia to offer world’s largest range of sustainable tuna

February 4, 2016

  • The MSC, John West and WWF Australia join forces to promote sustainable seafood
  • 100 million MSC certified sustainable John West Australia tuna cans
  • World’s largest offering of certified sustainable tuna

John West Australia has completely overhauled its supply chain to bring Australia the world’s largest offering of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified sustainable canned tuna, enabling everyday Australians to be part of the solution for healthy oceans.

More than 100 million John West cans of tuna will clearly display the MSC ecolabel signifying to consumers the seafood inside is sustainable and traceable from ocean to can. The commitment means 43% of Australia’s canned tuna is now MSC certified sustainable.

A monumental move forward for the Australian seafood market

MSC Asia Pacific Director, Patrick Caleo, says “This is a monumental move forward in the Australian seafood market and a move that will help keep our oceans healthy. John West Australia has shown tremendous leadership in sourcing certified sustainable tuna and backing this up with a firm plan to promote sustainable seafood options.”

“John West Australia isn’t just saying its tuna is sustainable, they’re sourcing from fisheries that have been independently tested and scientifically proven to be sustainable to our global standard.”

Tuna from the PNA

John West partnered with WWF Australia in 2012 to source sustainable tuna and as a result is now sourcing skipjack tuna from the MSC certified sustainable Parties of the Nauru Agreement (PNA) tuna fishery - the largest tuna fishery in the world.

John West Executive Commercial Director Graham Dugdale, says “By sourcing tuna from MSC certified fisheries we are fufillling our commitment to sustainable sourcing and helping to preserving the marine environment and the small island communities which depend on healthy fish stocks. Our commitment extends beyond sourcing policies and aims not only to educate, but also ingrain this perspective. We must position ocean sustainability as the ‘norm’ and only option moving forward”.

How the PNA fishery meets the MSC standard for sustainable fishing >

High standards of sustainability

WWF Australia CEO, Dermot O’Gorman, says “Sustainability in Australia has just taken a mighty step forward thanks to the leadership of John West Australia. MSC is the world’s most credible sustainability standard for wild caught fish, a process which requires independent third party auditors to evaluate a fishery’s performance against the most robust sustainability standards available globally.”

For a fishery to become MSC certified sustainable it must prove that:-

  • Its fish population is healthy
  • The impact to the marine ecosystem is minimised
  • Management practices are effective to maintain sustainability

The MSC Fisheries Standard assesses three core principles including fishery stock health, impact on marine environment and management of the fishery. MSC certified fisheries are continually monitored and must complete annual surveillance audits as well as being reassessed every five years. More than 615 improvements to fishing practices and environmental management have been delivered by MSC certified fisheries since 2000.

Seafood sold with the MSC ecolabel must be separated from non-MSC product and correctly labelled at all times. This ensures that it can be traced back to a certified sustainable fishery.

The PNA tuna story: Small islands big opportunities >

The MSC Standard for environment sustainable fishing explained >

Blog: What goes into a sustainable tuna sandwich >

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