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PNA Tuna Companies Accused of Failing to Apply MSC Principles

Tuna Sustainability Post-harvest +3 more

ANALYSIS - Companies in the eight Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) have been urged to follow Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) principles for its skipjack tuna fishery by a Dutch seafood supplier, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.

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The claims were made by Anova Seafoods, a dutch based sustainable seafood supplier, in a letter circulated by the company last week.

In the letter, Anova Seafoods claims that despite the PNA skipjack tuna being MSC certified back in January 2012, PNA tuna companies have yet to complete any successful trail trips for the MSC.

The supplier also stated that there has been minimal motivation by fishing companies to start fishing sustainably within MSC rules and that fishing with FAD's is still continuing.

Anova Seafoods states that it is committed to supplying sustainable seafood products and would like to buy sustainable MSC certified skipjack tuna for its customers. The company is willing to pay a premium price for the tuna in order to help sustainable fishing begin.

This is not the first time that PNA companies have come under fire over unsustainable fishing and failure to comply with rules.

In April 2012, Earth Island Institute accused tuna fishers of Pacifical, a commercial initiative of PNA, of not being part of its Dolphin Safe initiative. In response to the accusations, PNA Chairman Sylvester Pokajam said that it was true that the company did not follow EII Dolphin Safe policy but, its standards are independently verified, "something no other programme can claim," and "PNA has attained MSC certification for its free school skipjack tuna."

MSC also supported the PNC companies through the situation saying: "The information gathered during the MSC assessment provides independent and peer reviewed evidence that the purse seine setting on unassociated (non FAD) free schools of the PNA fishery is not targeting, or harming any species of dolphin."

Anouk Ride, Media Consultant for PNA tuna, commented on the claims stating that it is the companies fishing in PNA waters that have not yet come under the MSC scheme to supply MSC certified tuna that are fishing unsustainably, not the companies of PNA already certified.

The MSC has yet to comment on the most recent accusations over the failure to comply with MSC principles.

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