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Mexico Baja California Pole, Line Yellowfin & Skipjack Tuna Enter MSC Assessment

Sustainability Economics +3 more

MEXICO - The Mexico Baja California pole and line yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) and skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis) tuna fishery today entered full assessment in the Marine Stewardship Councils (MSC) certification programme for sustainable and well-managed fisheries.

The fishery, which operates in the Mexican Exclusive Economic Zone off the west coast of Baja California, will be assessed by an independent certifier against the MSC standard for sustainable fishing. If successful, products from this fishery will be eligible to bear the blue MSC ecolabel.

The fishery operates year round with most fishing taking place between late April and late December. The two boats to be covered by the certificate operate out of Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos—more commonly known as Matancitas. Landings by these two vessels have fluctuated over the years. In 2008, landings by these two vessels totaled 555 metric tons. Currently, products from this fishery are canned locally in Matancitas and marketed in Mexico.

WWF played an important role providing technical guidance and helping this fishery through pre-assessment in 2008 and early 2009. WWF also helped secure funding for the fishery’s full assessment and will serve as co-client to assist during the independent assessment process.

“We are hopeful that the eventual MSC certification of the Mexico Baja California pole and line yellowfin and skipjack tuna fishery will enable our fleet to help promote a responsible and clean fishery off Baja California Sur, Mexico, that has no negative impacts on the resources and ecosystem,” said Salvador Montes, director general of Productos Pesqueros de Matancitas.

“We have been in business for 50 years and we remain committed to both environmental responsibility and to our existing and future domestic and overseas clients who, these days, are requesting that we supply them with tuna products that originate from a sustainable and well-managed fishery.”

The Mexico Baja California pole and line yellowfin and skipjack fishery is managed by the Secretariat of Agriculture, Ranching, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) under the Comision Nacional de Pesca (CONAPESCA) of the government of Mexico and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC).