MARSHALL ISLANDS: The Parties of the Nauru Agreement (PNA) has reached a milestone of 2,000 "MSC trip numbers" in their free-school skipjack and yellowfin fishery, since the group started its project to bring larger volumes of sustainably caught tuna to the world, reported Pacifical.
Since 2013, the PNA has maintained day by day one of the most complex and rigid chain of custodies out there; a strict multi-level filtered chain with zero tolerance on mixing eligible MSC free-school caught tuna with non-sustainable caught tuna.
Any tuna vessel that wants to start an MSC trip in the PNA waters first needs to have its captain and crew trained in MSC procedures, which require the use of sustainable catching methods.
Trained purse seiner crews can go on an MSC trip once they have applied to the PNA Office for an MSC Trip Number, and have been assigned an independent onboard observer, trained in MSC procedures. MSC Trip Numbers are issued for purse seine trips, as well as reefer carrier trips, vessels that transport the frozen tuna to the end destination.
These MSC trip numbers are required for the PNA to keep full control over the sustainable catching practices within its enormous zone. Its MSC certification covers a vast area, equivalent to a surface 40 per cent larger than Europe and involving over 200 tuna purse seine vessels, 80 carriers, and 638 fully trained observers.
“Today we are proud to say that there are over 250 million consumer units of MSC certified tuna co-branded with the Pacifical logo being distributed in 26 countries spread over 4 continents,” stated Pacifical in a release.
The tuna marketing firm also explained that this milestone is the result of the efforts and close cooperation of all members across the chain: observers, fishing vessels, carriers, processors, supermarkets, distributors and many others have been established.
“This has all been made possible by the hard work of the PNA Office and Pacifical teams, and the use of the latest innovative satellite and computer technology required to trace vessel activity and collect observer data in real time,” it claimed.