Today, the Western Pacific Sustainable Tuna Alliance (WPSTA) Western and Central Pacific skipjack and yellowfin free school purse seine fishery was granted certification to the MSC Standard for Sustainable Fishing. The certification decision was determined by third party certifier, SCS Global.
The fishery groups consist of vessels from the USA, Chinese mainland and Taiwan. Vessels principally fish for skipjack and yellowfin tuna within in the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of countries that are Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) as well as the high seas.
“Tuna is an important source of protein for many nations and as a highly migratory species, management can often be a challenge. The certification of the WPSTA Western and Central Pacific skipjack and yellowfin free school purse seine fishery demonstrates positive collaboration between these leading fishing nations and a commitment to the sustainability of this ocean resource,” says Anne Gabriel, MSC Oceania Program Director.
MSC is recognised as one of the world’s most rigorous and credible, science based assessment of sustainability for wild-caught fish founded on three principles: healthy fish stocks, minimizing impact on the wider marine environment, and effective fishery management.
“Globally 12% of wild marine catch is MSC certified, a considerable progress over just 20 years. As a market based program comprising both fisheries certification and supply chain of custody certification, the MSC eco label is used on end consumer products providing trust and assurance to consumers that the seafood they are purchasing meets the world’s best standard for sustainable fishing and traceability,” continues Gabriel.
The MSC Fisheries Standard brings together 20 years of collaboration with scientists, government, the fishing industry and conservation groups. The MSC runs the only wild-capture fisheries certification and ecolabeling program that meets best practice requirements set by both the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO) and ISEAL, the global membership association for sustainability standards.
“We have chosen to pursue MSC certification to contribute to the growing demand, expectation and responsibility towards sustainable management of our fisheries to provide sustainably sourced tuna from the Pacific, which provides 50% of the world’s skipjack tuna supply.” Said Max Chou, President of F.C.F Fishery company
The MSC Chain of Custody standard requires that all certified product caught in certified fisheries can be identified and traced throughout the supply chain. MSC conducts periodic DNA tests to ensure seafood bearing the MSC blue ecolabel of approval can be traced back to a certified fishery.