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Authorities Urge Tuna Fishers To Train Their Crews In MSC Practices

The Papua New Guinea National Fisheries Authority (NFA) has again reconfirmed its position in supporting the regional management activities of the PNA countries, particularly in the introduction of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for sustainably caught free school skipjack tuna. It wants all tuna fishing companies active within its waters to train their purse seiner crews in MSC procedures.

Despite announcing this sustained support in a press release issued last week, the decision comes from a regular board meeting held on June 7 in Lae, Papua New Guinea.

The NFA board resolved from the meeting that: “Those fishing in PNG waters should immediately start to deliver MSC Free School Skipjack to be processed for ‘Pacifical’ MSC trade.” It sees the MSC as the highest global standard on sustainability of fisheries, backed by a credible 3rd party traceability from net to the retailer.  Pacifical is the PNA’s marketing company, which is involved with the international sales of the MSC skipjack.

The authorities also want those companies fishing in PNG waters, which have not been trained to deliver MSC free school tuna, “to immediately establish MSC training officers, and seek MSC certification in their companies”.  Those fishing in the country’s tuna rich waters are urged to support PNG’s initiative to land MSC free school skipjack. Only with such training being completed successfully, and following the correct procedures, purse seiners can get their catch MSC certified once landed.

At the beginning of this year the PNA obtained also MSC approval for its chain of custody, however fishing companies have been very slow to respond to the wide spread global market demand for MSC FAD free tuna. Last year already several leading global retailers expressed their interest for the product, asking the PNA fleet to start fishing for MSC skipjack, so far without any tuna supply resulting from these calls.