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Mexican Yellowfin Tuna Earn MSC Certification

02 May 2012, at 1:00am

MEXICO - 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.

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 clients processing facility in Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos, also known as Matancitas, and currently marketed in Mexico.

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.

"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 Ramn Corral vila, National Commissioner for Aquaculture and Fisheries in Mexico.

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.

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