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Fisheries, Indonesia, Nauru, Philippines, Vietnam

Set back for regional fisheries certification

An independent adjudicator says the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)’s certification of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) western and central Pacific skipjack tuna unassociated purse seine fishery, has not relied on appropriate scientific evidence.

The adjudicator has determined that the certification must be sent back to the assessment team. The ruling found that the final report filed by Intertek Moody Marine, Inc. did not identify, with accuracy and consistency, the PNA’s share of the region’s skipjack catch and the certifier had no scientific basis to conclude that PNA would be capable of managing the entire migratory stock.

“In order to improve the sustainability of Pacific tuna stocks, it is essential that the region raise its collective standards,” said Susan Jackson, President of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation. “This work will take a committed, coordinated effort and the PNA cannot do it alone. As this ruling points out, all nations that share this stock of tuna must work toward better standards of practice. Effective management is an absolute and there is no effective management without regional cooperation.”

Other objections recognized by the adjudicator include the lack of defined harvest control rules, and a deficiency in monitoring and catch reporting, specifically for Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

“The entire Pacific region needs strong support to meet higher standards for bycatch mitigation, data reporting, and comprehensive monitoring, control and surveillance,” Jackson says.

Intertek Moody Marine, Inc., will have an opportunity to respond to the decision, and ISSF will have a chance to reply before the Adjudicator’s decision becomes final.

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About Samantha Magick

Journalist and editor

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