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New Zealand's top three fisheries celebrate sustainable management

The New Zealand seafood industry will today receive formal recognition of its strenuous efforts in recent years to achieve high standards of environmental good practice. The accreditation of three key offshore fisheries: albacore tuna, hoki and southern blue whiting, by the globally recognised Marine Stewardship Council standard will be officially announced at a reception jointly hosted by the Deepwater Group, the Tuna Management Association, the MSC and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).  

Rigorous assessment and ongoing commitment

"I commend the fishing companies involved for their commitment in seeking this certification," says George Clement, Chief Executive of the Deepwater Group. "[They] have been subject to rigorous, independent third party assessment to gain MSC certification. Certification independently verifies that these fisheries are being managed sustainably and to the world’s best standards. The rigour of the assessment cannot be underestimated.  It doesn’t stop there either, there is tight policing of ongoing performance to ensure these fisheries continue to meet the standard."

MSC's science-based standard and certification program is recognised by international environmental organisations including WWF, as the best available program for sustainable seafood. Only fisheries that maintain healthy fish stocks, reduce impacts on the global marine ecosystem and have effective management systems in place are able to meet MSC's standard.

Proven sustainability credentials

Rupert Howes, the MSC's Chief Executive, is in New Zealand to mark the occasion and will also be speaking at the reception. "I am delighted to be back in New Zealand and to be able to personally congratulate the New Zealand fishing industry on the certification of these three commercially important species. These fisheries have proven their sustainability credentials," Mr Howes said.

"On behalf of the MSC's global program, I congratulate the hoki, albacore tuna and southern blue whiting fisheries on their MSC certifications. These fisheries have used good management practices to safeguard jobs and secure these precious renewable resources into the future. I congratulate the fishers and the MPI on their achievement.

"I'm particularly excited to congratulate the hoki fishery, one of the first white fish fisheries in the world to enter our program, which has been certified as sustainable by MSC for a third time." said Mr Howes.

Endorsement of good management practices

Scott Gallacher, MPI’s Deputy Director General Resource Management and Programmes said: "The Ministry is committed to sustainable utilisation of our fisheries and we fully support the public review and endorsement of our management practices offered by MSC certification."

Mr Doug Saunders-Loder, President of the Tuna Management Association said: "Certification of the New Zealand albacore troll fishery reiterates New Zealand’s resolve and continued commitment to managing all fish stocks within our Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) in a sustainable manner, while ensuring these fisheries are environmentally sustainable."