First MSC-certified Pacific tuna hits Europe

Friday marked the first day that Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified Pacific tuna became available to the European marketplace after a long period of work to make MSC chain of custody certification possible.

SPAR Austria is now offering MSC certified canned skipjack tuna from the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, the largest skipjack tuna fishery in the world, reports the World Wildlife Foundation.

SPAR Austria received the tuna from a fishery that is managed by the sub-regional organization known as the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), which is comprised of eight developing nations in the South Pacific Region that control around 50% of the world’s skipjack tuna supply. That includes fish from the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

“WWF applauds the PNA, its co-brand partner Pacifical, and SPAR in their partnership in making delivery of sustainably sourced, FAD-free MSC skipjack tuna to the Austrian market,” Alfred Schumm, WWF’s smart fishing initiative leader, said.

WWF has been a strong supporter of the PNA’s commitment to applying the ecosystem approach, a strategy for integrated management that promotes conservation and sustainable use of the marine environment.

This comes after multiple delays in the effort to get MSC skipjack into stores. After multiple calls from retailers for MSC certified skipjack early this year, the PNA fisheries management announced in June that the product would hit stores in Europe that month.

The WWF maintains the PNA has maintained consistent leadership throughout the process “by taking management measures for their free-school purse seine fishery that include restrictions on the use of Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs), tuna catch retention, mesh regulations, portside transhipment and prohibitions on setting nets on whale sharks,” the WWF said. “Additionally, every fishing trip is fully monitored and documented by independent, 3rd party observers, who verify catch and bycatch.”

The PNA underwent a vigorous and lengthy review of its chain of custody procedures to ensure that the skipjack tuna they deliver meets the standard of the MSC, considered the most comprehensive and robust seafood ecolabel in existence with bycatch and chain of custody standards that exceed any other ecolabel.


By  Nov. 15, 2013 16:44 GMT

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