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Ecuadorian Pole And Line Has MSC Ambitions

The Presidents of the Cooperative of Artisanal Fish Production and Rod Fishing of Manta, Augusto Lopez and Christopher Roig, have revealed that the Ecuadorian pole and line tuna fishery is working to achieve MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certification.

The international standard that guarantee that the certified product comes from a sustainable source, fished using sustainable methods is achieved through a two-phase process. The first will consist of three expert visits, scheduled for this month, January and March.
Lopez said: “The idea is that this fleet does not disappear. In the last three years we have identified that there are markets for the products that we can offer from our country.”
There is strong demand for pole and line caught tuna, especially in the UK market. Ecuador is the world’s third largest tuna processing nation, and exported 154,215 tons of canned tuna and pre-cooked loins globally in 2012.
The first person to assess the fishery will be external auditor, Ian Scott, whose hiring was made possible by a grant received from the NGO Conservation International Ecuador chapter.
Ecuador’s current pole and line tuna fleet is of six ships based in Manta, with two new vessels under construction and scheduled to join operations. The average capture capacity is around 20 tons, fishing for 5 day periods, up to 60 miles off the coast.
In an EU-5 store check conducted by Pacifical cv, strong growth in the presence of seafood carrying the MSC eco-label in Europe was revealed. At least 60 percent of frozen seafood checked displayed the logo, and increasing penetration was also visible across the canned seafood sector. MSC particularly showed impressive growth within Germany and the Netherlands.
Managing Director Henk Brus of Pacifical cv, explained that there is “limited availability” of MSC certified tuna. He said: “There are currently only two options available, which are both pole and line caught: skipjack from the Maldives and albacore from the US, but the volume and regularity in supply is insufficient to meet the markets’ need.”