New tuna fisheries improvements in the Coral Triangle region



Posted on 25 April 2013  | 
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Pacific Islands – WWF applauds the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) for achieving Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Chain of Custody Certification for their MSC Certified free-school skipjack fishery from the Western and Central Pacific.

“We are immensely proud of this positive development. After a long wait, consumers will finally be able to find an MSC certified tuna product from this part of the world out in the market,” says Mark Schreffler, WWF Western Melanesia Program Office Fisheries Policy Officer.

“We are proud to note that 11 out of the 15 fishing vessels that received Chain of Custody Certification for harvesting, transporting, and selling MSC certified skipjack are from the Coral Triangle, particularly from Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.”

“This sheds a whole new light to our fisheries improvements projects in the region and provides an impetus for more fishing companies here to follow suit and aim for MSC certification,” adds Schreffler.

MSC is a global organization working with fisheries, seafood companies, scientists, conservation groups, and the public to promote the best environmental choice in seafood. It is the only credible ecolabel currently available for wild capture fisheries.

The MSC Chain of Custody Certification was announced recently at the European Tuna Conference in Brussels by Mr. Maurice Brownjohn, PNA Commercial Manager.

The PNA, which controls around 30 per cent of the world’s tuna supply, is composed of the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.

Tuna is a highly valuable natural resource in the region, which provides food and livelihood to millions of people, sustains economies, and maintains the ecological balance of fragile marine environments.

However, increasing demand from around the world for this commercially-valuable species is driving unsustainable tuna fishing, threatening vulnerable fish stocks.

“Now that there’s a credible and verifiable traceability system in place for the MSC certified free- school skipjack fishery from the Pacific, consumers have a more sustainable choice to help alleviate pressure on other overexploited tuna species,” says Schreffler.

Notes to the Editor:
  • The Coral Triangle—the nursery of the seas—is the world’s center of marine life, encompassing around 6 million sq km of ocean across six countries in Asia-Pacific – Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste.
  • It is home to 76% of the world’s known coral species, 37% of the world’s coral reef fish species, and commercially-valuable species such as tuna, whales, dolphins, rays, sharks, including 6 of the world’s 7 known species of marine turtles.
  • The Coral Triangle directly sustains the lives of more than 120 million people and contains key spawning and nursery grounds for tuna. Its reef and coastal systems also underpin a growing tourism sector. § WWF is working with governments, local communities, businesses, and consumers to promote sustainable development in this region. For information on Coral Triangle go to: www.panda.org/ coraltriangle

For further information:

Mark Schreffler, WWF Western Melanesia Program Office Fisheries Policy Officer, Email
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