Over 500,000 MT of skipjack tuna entered into MSC full assessment
Apr 26, 2010
Up to 50% of all skipjack tuna caught in the Western and Central Pacific, which is managed by the eight states Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) will be assessed against the MSC standard for well-managed and sustainable fisheries. If successful, more that 560,000 metric tonnes of skipjack tuna will be eligible to bear the MSC ecolabel.
About the skipjack tuna fishery
The fisheries entering into full assessment use purse seine nets targeting free swimming schools of tuna and log sets i.e. they do not use artificial Fish Aggregating Devises (FADs) that are constructed to attract tuna. The PNA states announced their intent to enter this distinct element of their skipjack fishery into MSC full assessment following the first PNA Presidential summit earlier this year. Skipjack from PNA waters is sold to Europe and North America where it is commonly canned and a popular ingredient in salads and sandwiches.
What PNA says
Director of the PNA, Dr Transform Aqorau says: “The PNA exists to maximize the economic benefits to Pacific Islanders from sustainable management of our tuna. Seeking MSC certification is an important step towards this goal so that consumers of our tuna can recognize the value of our work here to control access to tuna resources for the benefits of our PNA members. We hope that this process can result in MSC certification in 2011 for skipjack tuna caught on free schools and look forward to taking this forward.”
What the MSC says
Chris Ninnes, Deputy Chief Executive of the MSC welcomed the announcement: “This assessment is an important development in the history of the MSC programme and I am pleased to see the eight PNA states move this fishery into MSC full assessment so shortly after their announcement of intention earlier this year. If the assessment process determines the fishery meets the MSC standard, about half of the skipjack tuna caught from the Western and Central Pacific, will be eligible to bear the MSC ecolabel. This would be a significant milestone towards satisfying some of the demand for credible, certified sustainable skipjack tuna for the canned market. I wish this fishery every success with their assessment.”
Bill Holden, the Pacific Fisheries Manager of the MSC added: “The PNA countries are well-reputed for the progressive management of their tuna resources for the benefits of their people, taking into account the needs of current and future generations. It speaks for the MSC programme that they have chosen MSC certification to seek to demonstrate to buyers globally, that their fishery, harvesting free swimming shoals of skipjack tuna is well-managed and sustainable. The assessment ahead will evaluate the fishery against the MSC standard for well-managed and sustainable fisheries and consider the sustainability of the fish stock, environmental impact and effective management.”
What German retailer EDEKA says
Michaela Fischer-Zernin, Head of Communications and Public Affairs EDEKA AG, says: "In the light of our sustainable fish sourcing policy, we welcome efforts to align tuna fishing with sustainability aspects and to strive for MSC certification. The demand for tuna is strong and sustainability aspects are becoming increasingly important."
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