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Seychelles FAD Fishery To Enter MSC Pre-Assessment Seychelles, December 18, 12

MW Brands – owner of UK leading brand John West – plans to pay £100,000 to see how much work it will take to get MSC certification for one of its main supply fisheries – the Seychelles purse seine tuna fishery located in the Indian Ocean. The initial test is recommended before any client enters the rigorous MSC certification process. It is not clear if this pre-assessment concerns both skipjack and yellowfin tuna, or just one of the two species.
If the Seychelles fishery does gain Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) approval in the future, it would be the first tuna fishery that employs fish-aggregating devices (FADs) to be certified as sustainable by the MSC. Environment groups largely consider FADs to be destructive to the ocean ecosystem as they result in high rates of by-catch including small tuna, sharks and turtles.
The Seychelles fishery provides the majority of John West’s raw material – 55%. The UK brand together with its parent company currently process 90,000 tons of tuna supplied by the fishery each year.
So far, eight tuna fisheries around the world are approved by MSC and they include the Maldives pole-and-line skipjack fishery and the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) free school purse seine skipjack fishery in the western and central Pacific Ocean.
The Seychelles tuna fleet is already transitioning to using non-mesh material for FADs, in a bid to curb the high mortality of silky sharks that become entangled in their nets.