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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
MSC awards first eco-label to tuna fishery
A tuna fishery operating in the North and South Pacific Ocean is to be awarded the Marine Stewardship Councils coveted eco-label for sustainable fishing.
The American Albacore Fishing Association (AAFA) tuna fishery, passed its full assessment today when independent certifier, Moody Marine awarded AAFA its certificate.
Products from the AAFA tuna fishery may now carry the Marine Stewardship Council eco-label (subject to a Chain of Custody audit) which will distinguish it as a certified sustainable and well-managed fishery. This is the first tuna fishery in the world to receive the accolade.
The AAFA tuna fishery is a small, family-run fishery operating out of San Diego. The fish are caught using the poll & line techniques (and the troll and line techniques in the south Pacific) and its members pride themselves on the care they take to protect the marine environment.
Skipper Jack Bandini Webster explains: Tuna fishermen seem to get a bad rap in a worldwide way. Most of the fishermen who are left love the ocean: youve got to love it because its real hard work. Being certified sustainable is important to us. Fishermen who are doing the right thing should prove that they are and talk about it. Thats what this certificate is all about.
There are 21 boats in the association catching around 3,000 4,000 tonnes of albacore tuna per year.
Rupert Howes, Chief Executive of the MSC says: This really is a milestone event and one that demonstrates the applicability of the MSC programme to migratory species. The dwindling stocks of many tuna species are of increasing concern for consumers. The certification of the AAFA tuna fishery is a huge achievement for the fishermen. Because of the way they fish, the AAFA fishery has virtually no by catch. By demonstrating their sustainable practices through MSC certification, AAFA is making it possible for consumers to make the best environmental choice in tuna.
WWF US has sponsored the fisherys assessment. Meredith Lopuch, Director - Community Fisheries Programme, says: If we want our grandchildren to have tuna on their dinner plates and in the sea, sustainable tuna fishing practices must be adopted. Certification of the first sustainable tuna fishery shows it can be done and if others change to improve their practices and follow suit, theres a future for tuna and tuna fisheries.
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