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PNA Skipjack Tuna Fishery Gains MSC Certification

12 January 2012

GLOBAL - The PNA Western & Central Pacific skipjack tuna fishery (PNA skipjack fishery) has had its purse seine fishing operations targeting free schools of skipjack tuna certified as sustainable against the MSC environmental standard for sustainable and well managed fisheries.

Since entering assessment midway through 2010, the PNA skipjack fishery has demonstrated - through a rigorous, transparent, independent assessment process conducted by Intertek Moody Marine against the MSC Standard, and with the active involvement of many stakeholders – that the skipjack tuna stocks it targets are healthy, that its free school fishing practices have minimal impact on the marine eco-system and that overall the fishery’s free school operations are sustainably managed.

As a result of the free school fishery’s certification, 30 per cent of the skipjack caught in the PNA fishery, and 16 per cent of the skipjack caught in the WCPFC convention area is eligible to bear the blue MSC ecolabel.

“The Western and Central Pacific skipjack stock hold about 10 per cent of the world’s tuna stock. This is the largest tuna fishery to have achieved MSC certification, a standard that will help ensure this valuable fishery can achieve a healthy state,” says Mark Schreffler, Fisheries Policy Officer, WWF Western Melanesia Programme.

However, Mr Schreffler cautions that there is still a great deal of work to be done by the PNA, the WCPFC and its partners over the next few years to fully meet the conditions set by the assessment.

“The challenge now is the implementation of robust harvest strategies and reference points by the WCPFC in partnership with the PNA. WWF believes effective, sustainable fisheries management of the Western and Central Pacific tuna stocks must also occur at the Commission level as well as within the waters of the PNA,” says Mr Scheffler.

The WWF will continue to work with the WCPFC, PNA and member states to meet the conditions of the certification and help ensure that the PNA fishery can maintain its MSC certification.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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