Mexico Baja California pole and line yellowfin and skipjack tuna fishery earns MSC certification

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May 1, 2012 (Seattle, WA) — The Mexico Baja California pole and line yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) and skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis) tuna fishery has been awarded MSC certification. The fishery, which operates in the Mexican Exclusive Economic Zone off the west coast of Baja California, was certified following independent assessment to the MSC standard for sustainable, well-managed fisheries. Products from the fishery will now be eligible to bear the blue MSC ecolabel. This is the first MSC certified yellowfin tuna fishery in the world.

About the fishery

The client for this fishery is Productos Pesqueros de Matancitas S.A. de C.V. (PPM). The certificate covers two vessels (Molly N and Westerly) currently owned by PPM, with the possibility of extension to other pole and line vessels licensed to fish yellowfin and skipjack tuna in the area. The fishery is managed by the Secretariat of Agriculture, Ranching, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) under the National Commission of Aquaculture and Fisheries (CONAPESCA) of the government of Mexico and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC).

The fishery operates year round with most fishing taking place between late April and late December. Landings by the two client vessels have fluctuated over the years and in 2009 were 379 metric tonnes. The catch of yellowfin and skipjack tuna is canned at the client’s processing facility in Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos, also known as Matancitas, and currently marketed in Mexico.

What the fishery says

Salvador Montes, director of Productos Pesqueros de Matancitas, said: “We hope to take full advantage of the benefits resulting from this certification, which will allow us to enter into selected markets that demand products originating from sustainable sources and fishing practices. Through the client action plan certain improvement actions were specified and we are committed to following through on these. We hope to prove that it is possible to conduct business within a framework that respects the environment and its natural resources while allowing for rational and equitable utilization, so that these resources will endure for future generations.”

What CONAPESCA says

"With great joy, I am pleased to announce that now, due to the rewarding of the MSC certification, the Mexico Baja California pole and line yellowfin and skipjack tuna fishery meets the highest international standards. The importance that the MSC certification has in the market will give consumers the confidence that these species have been caught through the optimum sustainable management for the fishery," said Ramón Corral Ávila, National Commissioner for Aquaculture and Fisheries in Mexico.

What MSC says

“The Mexico Baja California pole and line yellowfin and skipjack tuna fishery is the third Mexican fishery to become MSC certified and I congratulate the fishery on this accomplishment,” said Kerry Coughlin, regional director for MSC Americas. “The commitment of this and other fisheries in Mexico to environmental sustainability is important. This newly certified tuna fishery will no doubt be rewarded for its efforts given the high demand in world markets today for tuna that has met the MSC standard.”

About the certifier

Intertek Moody Marine, an independently accredited certifier, was the certifier for this assessment. During the assessment, the three principles of the MSC standard were evaluated in detail: the status of the fish stock, the impact of the fishery on the marine ecosystem and the management system overseeing the fishery. More information about the Mexico Baja California pole and line yellowfin and skipjack tuna fishery and the complete Public Certification Report detailing the fishery’s passing scores against the MSC standard can be found on MSC’s web site at www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/certified.

About the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organization set up to help transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis. The MSC runs the only certification and ecolabeling program for wild-capture fisheries consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization Guidelines for the Eco-labeling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries. These guidelines are based upon the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing and require that credible fishery certification and ecolabeling schemes include:

·         Objective, third-party fishery assessment utilizing scientific evidence;

·         Transparent processes with built-in stakeholder consultation and objection procedures;

·         Standards based on the sustainability of target species, ecosystems and management practices.

The MSC has offices in London, Seattle, Tokyo, Sydney, The Hague, Glasgow, Berlin, Cape Town, Paris, Madrid and Stockholm.

In total, over 270 fisheries are engaged in the MSC program with 154 certified and 122 under full assessment. Another 40 to 50 fisheries are in confidential pre-assessment. Together, fisheries already certified or in full assessment record annual catches of close to nine million metric tonnes of seafood. This represents over 10 percent of the annual global harvest of wild capture fisheries. Certified fisheries currently land over six million metric tonnes of seafood annually – close to seven percent of the total harvest from wild capture fisheries. Worldwide, more than 14,000 seafood products, which can be traced back to the certified sustainable fisheries, bear the blue MSC ecolabel.

Source MSC
 

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