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3000 M/T New Zealand Albacore Troll Tuna Fishery

New Zealand’s troll-caught albacore tuna fishery has entered MSC assessment. Catching an average of 3.000 metric tonnes of tuna each year, it is the fourth tuna fishery – and third albacore fishery – to enter assessment for the MSC eco-label.

New Zealand albacore are caught around the western coasts of the north and south islands. The fishery is controlled by conservation and management measures set under the WCPFC (Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention) which place binding effort controls on the albacore fishery in New Zealand fisheries waters. Much of the catch is landed whole and sent to Thailand and American Samoa for canning, although last year a significant proportion was exported to canneries in Spain.

Doug Saunders-Loder, Vice President, added “It simply endorses our commitment to sustainability and responsible fishing practice. The approach to gain MSC Certification is an acknowledgment of the need to meet the obligations of our international consumers.”

Bill Holden, Pacific Fisheries Manager for the MSC said: “I’m really pleased to see this tuna fishery enter assessment. Working in partnership with the group of New Zealand fisheries, the albacore fishers are leading the way for many of their fellow tuna fishers in the south-west Pacific. Demand for MSC certified albacore tuna currently far outstrips supply and I am sure the New Zealand troll albacore fishery will find a large number of buyers following their assessment with great interest.” 
Peter Ballantyne, President of the Tuna Management Association, commented:
“It is essential for the continual development of the new Zealand Albacore Troll Fishery that we have taken this initiative to have our fishery recognized under the MSC Certification.”