The new guidelines are unique as it covers over 300 industrial fishing and transport vessels from more than 10 different nations, working in one of world’s most complex and extensive seafood supply chains.
The aim behind this initiative is to safeguard the welfare of the over 5,000 crew members living on board these vessels, which fish and distribute skipjack and yellowfin tuna in the remote waters of PNA Pacific Island Nations.
The multi-jurisdictional nature of fishing as well as the use of a commonly mixed nationality crew, adds a layer of complexity to the already difficult task of ensuring socially responsible employment standards are being sustained at sea.
The absence of any binding legal instrument, specifically formulated to ensure fair labor practices in the global fishing industry, which applies to all flag states (and the commercial fishing vessels under those flags), remains a challenging obstacle to the enforcement of workers’ rights at sea.
Pacifical has therefore developed these Social Accountability Guidelines to protect the rights of fishermen and ensure that they have decent, safe and meaningful employment on board fishing vessels.
“There is no sustainably managed fishery without the people who participate in it. We are excited to introduce our Social Accountability Guidelines, ensuring to millions of worldwide buyers of MSC certified tuna carrying the Pacifical logo, that not only are these products in line with the strictest ocean ecosystem conservation certification scheme, but also that the fishermen behind their MSC tuna products, are being treated fairly and according to a social guideline that safeguards their welfare,” said Maurice Brownjohn, PNA Commercial Director.