Brian Perkins, MSC regional director in the Americas. (Photo: MSC/FIS)
Northeastern tropical Pacific tuna fishery’s standard confirmed
Tuesday, August 08, 2017, 23:10 (GMT + 9)
The decision of an independent adjudicator confirms that the tuna fishery operated by the Pacific Alliance of Sustainable Tuna (PAST) meets the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) fisheries standard.
The fishery includes 36 purse seine vessels fishing for yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) and skipjack (Katsuwonus pelami) tuna with purse seines in the northwest tropical Pacific.
As a next step, the certifier will need to review the independent adjudicator’s decision and update its final report to include the revised scoring requested by the independent adjudicator.
This content must be approved by the independent adjudicator before the certifier can move forward to issue the public certification report for the fishery, at which point the fishery would be certified.
Since entering the assessment process in 2014, the fishery has undergone detailed review and assessment by an independent team of experts headed up by MSC-accredited certifier, SCS Global Services.
As part of this process the MSC requires certifiers to seek and consider formal input from all interested stakeholders. In this case, it conducted numerous rounds of stakeholder input, and reviewed and responded to nearly 300 pages of stakeholder comments.
The findings were also peer reviewed by two independent experts, subject to MSC technical oversight, and reviewed by the scheme’s accreditation body, Accreditation Services International.
The MSC recalls that after the certifying team determined the fishery was able to receive the certification, it received an objection to certification from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), whose concerns were reviewed and considered in detail in an orderly and transparent process by an independent adjudicator.
The independent adjudicator, Melanie Carter is a legal expert with extensive fisheries, law, and mediation experience, as well as an understanding of the MSC Fisheries Standard and assessment methodology.
Since the 1980s, concern for the impacts of purse seine fishing in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean (EPO) drove international governments and NGOs to sign a series of transformative conservation agreements focused on ensuring the sustainability purse seine fishing in the EPO.
"A MSC assessment is a highly transparent and meticulous process and I applaud any fishery that puts themselves under the microscope and scrutiny of this assessment. Decisions are made based on science and evidence, and in a highly consultative manner. In reaching its conclusion that this fishery should be certified, the assessment team took full consideration of the impacts this fishery has on the entire ecosystem, including dolphin populations,” pointed out Brian Perkins, MSC regional director in the Americas.
PAST concentrates 90 per cent of the tuna industry in Mexcio and is formed by the main yellowfin and skipjack tuna fishery: Grupomar, Herdez del Fuerte, Pesca Azteca and Procesa.