MSC labelled Pacific skipjack tuna arrives in Europe

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Source: Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

The world’s largest tuna fishery, the PNA skipjack tuna free school purse seine fishery, will be delivering the MSC labelled skipjack tuna from the Pacific into Europe in November 2013.

Austrian retailer, SPAR, are the first to offer MSC labelled canned skipjack tuna from the Central and Western Pacific oceans where the MSC certified sustainable Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) skipjack fishery operates. Shoppers can identify this tuna by the internationally recognisable blue MSC ecolabel for sustainable fishing on pack. The MSC certified tuna is available in SPAR, EUROSPAR and INTERSPAR stores in the ‘natural’ and ‘in sunflower oil’ varieties.

MSC Pacific Fisheries Outreach Manager, Bill Holden, is overwhelming pleased to see the sustainable tuna reach European market shelves.

'This fishery has met our global standard for a sustainable fishery, proving that the skipjack tuna stock is robust and healthy. The skipjack tuna are caught with minimal impact to the marine ecosystem, and negligible impact to other marine species including sharks, turtles, and marine mammals,' said Mr Holden.

“It’s so great to see the effort of this fishery to reach the MSC standard that is not only ensuring healthy oceans teeming with life but also adding value to their business with accessing new markets in Europe.”

The MSC label guarantees consumers that the fish caught is from a sustainably managed fishery, handled under a rigid chain of custody from the net to retailer the fish is completely traceable and not mixed with any other species or fish from non-certified fisheries.

The PNA fishery operates in eight developing nations in the South Pacific Region that control 50% of the world’s skipjack tuna supply including the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

“We are thrilled to be delivering PNA MSC-certified skipjack tuna to SPAR and into the European market,” said Maurice Brownjohn, PNA Commercial Manager. “It means a lot to our developing nations to finally achieve delivery of MSC canned skipjack into the market and see the benefits of sustainability.”

“This fishery has consistently demonstrated leadership in the region and in tuna management by taking effective measures including restrictions on the use of Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs), tuna catch retention, mesh regulations, in port transhipment, and prohibitions on setting nets on whale sharks to name a few,” said Mr Holden.

In addition, every fishing trip is 100% monitored and documented by an independent, third-party observers, who verify catch and bycatch.

Products that bear the MSC blue ecolabel have been independently audited along the supply chain, from retailer, supplier, processor, back to the certified sustainable fishery. This third-party assessment of traceability ensures consumer confidence that the tuna hasn’t been mixed or substituted with any non-certified species or fish from illegal or unregulated fisheries.

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