THE NATIONAL/UNDERCURRENT NEWS - A United States based tuna vessel management company has partnered with Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), to supply tuna that meets Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standards.
The understanding (MOU) to do that was signed between the South Pacific Tuna Corporation (SPTC) and PNAO/Pacifical, the marketing arm of PNA last Thursday.
MSC standards are considered the most stringent of the current managed sustainability programmes.
This action underscores South Pacific Tuna Corporation’s commitment to maintaining the highest sustainability standards while harvesting tuna from PNA island waters.
SPTC executive director and Global Fleets partner J. Douglas Hines said: “The Global Fleets have long-embraced sustainable fishing practices in action, rather than just theory.
“This MOU makes us the first among the US Distant Water Tuna Fleet to make a public commitment to sustainable fishing practices as certified by the Marine Stewardship Council – including effective management and minimal environmental impact. It is not only a commitment to the PNA Countries, but to their customers and consumers throughout the world. This is truly a first step in creating an Ocean to Table project.”
“The US Fleet is considered a Global leader in promoting environmental standards with strict adherence to regulations,” Hines said.
PNA fisheries commercial manager Maurice Brownjohn said: “As world leaders in tuna conservation and management, this is a great development. We look forward to working closely with The Global Fleets in promoting tuna that is sustainably harvested in our waters to ensure that we will have a continued supply for future generations.”
Meanwhile, there are now 295 vessels -- in addition to the majority of fishing boats from the Philippines, Taiwan and China -- that have joined the Marine Stewardship Council's (MSC) certification process for the Parties of the Nauru (PNA) agreement tuna fishery.
“This is consumer and market-driven," Brownjohn said. "Retailers and consumers are very mindful of sustainability of the resources and this is why companies are looking towards MSC as being the gold standard for such practices.”
The PNA controls the largest sustainable tuna purse seine fishery in the world. Korean and Japanese fleets are also expected to sign up to the MSC certification process as well, according to Brownjohn.
The South Pacific Tuna Corporation, which has 14 boats in PNA waters, went public with its recent signing of a memorandum of understanding with PNA's marketing arm to seek the certification last week, and Tri Marine also recently announced it is seeking MSC certification for tuna caught in the Western and Central Pacific.
Brownjohn says there has been a significant ramp up in interest in recent months as companies better understand the world recognized MSC ecolabel.