MSC Certification Green Lighted for the AllianceAugust 5th, 2017
We are pleased to say that after an incredibly rigorous multi-year assessment and consultation process, the Alliance has been green-lighted to receive MSC certification, demonstrating our sustainability and setting new environmental targets for the fishery – to continue our history of environmental stewardship.
Please see below for our media release. We look forward to working with you all on our Sustainability Action Plan!
THE PACIFIC ALLIANCE FOR SUSTAINABLE TUNA, REPRESENTING LEADERS IN MEXICAN TUNA INDUSTRY, TO EARN MSC CERTIFICATION, THE HIGHEST SUSTAINABILITY STANDARD FOR WILD CAUGHT TUNA
Grupomar, Herdez del Fuerte, Pesca Azteca, and Procesa, after over 30 years of achievements in sustainability, will bring MSC certified tuna to market
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO, August 7, 2017 – The Pacific Alliance for Sustainable Tuna (Alliance) – comprised by Mexico’s leading yellowfin and skipjack tuna fishers Grupomar, Herdez del Fuerte, Pesca Azteca, and Procesa – learned that it will earn the prestigious Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, the only science-based sustainability certification and ecolabel for wild-caught fish, for its fleet of 36 purse seine vessels that fish in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean. This certification, which will be finalized upon the approval of administrative updates to the scientific assessment report, brings a new supply of MSC-certified, ocean-safe yellowfin and skipjack to conscious buyers and consumers. The MSC certification again signals the top environmental performance of the Alliance’s Mexican tuna fishery, which was recently recognized at the 2016 COP Conference on Biodiversity for its outstanding efforts to protect biodiversity.
“As fishers that are dedicated to following science best practice, MSC certification is one more way we can demonstrate that tuna fished by Alliance is sustainable,” comments Mariana Ramos, Executive Director of the Alliance. “Our members are pleased to be able to offer healthy, affordable, MSC-certified, ocean-safe tuna.”
PAST was recommended for certification based on an exhaustive, multi-year sustainability assessment conducted by the MSC-accredited conformity assessment body, SCS Global Services. The assessment, addressed 31 key performance indicators pertaining to the sustainability of target fish stock, ecosystem integrity, and effective fishery management. This science-based assessment included extensive, in-depth review by independent scientific experts, peer review, and regular, open consultation with stakeholders. The final step prior to certification will be a revision and publication of the Final Report, a comprehensive report of over 600 pages that outlines the full scientific analysis of the fishery and public inputs into the process.
Alliance members have invested heavily in sustainability for more than 30 years, and will continue to:
- Participate in the award-winning Agreement on International Dolphin Conservation Program (AIDCP), which was called an “unqualified success” by the U.N. FAO;
- Guarantee that an independent scientific observer is aboard each fishing vessel on each fishing trip, ensuring 100% continued monitoring of sustainable fishing practices;
- Protect all species with which they interact, including tuna. PAST members are the only global companies to date to formally and publicly withdraw from fishing Pacific Bluefin tuna, a species that is facing overfishing.
The Alliance is committed to continuing its sustainability efforts with new programs, including a maximum live release program for all sharks and rays; funding for an international dolphin research program in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean; and active engagement with environmental NGOs in Mexico, as outlined in an ambitious MSC sustainability action plan (known as a Client Action Plan).
“We look forward to immediately advancing our sustainability action plan, including launching efforts to undertake an international dolphin research program and a ground-breaking shark and ray protection program,” comments Ramos.
The Alliance invites interested parties to join their ambitious sustainability endeavors.
About the Pacific Alliance for Sustainable Tuna
The Pacific Alliance for Sustainable Tuna is a group of 4 leading fishing companies in Mexico – Grupomar, Herdez del Fuerte, Pesca Azteca, and Procesa – working together to ensure that sustainable, science-based and responsible management of our fishery, for today and future generations. Together, PAST members represent over 90% of the yellowfin and skipjack tuna fished by Mexico and deliver a key sustainable and affordable protein for over 25 million families across Mexico and Central America, contributing significantly to the 300,000 jobs generated by the national seafood industry. Learn more at www.pacifictunaalliance.org.
About the Marine Stewardship Council
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) runs the only independent certification and ecolabelling program for wild-capture fisheries consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization Guidelines for the Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries. These guidelines are based upon the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing and require that credible fishery certification and ecolabelling schemes include:
• Objective, third-party fishery assessment utilizing scientific evidence;
• Transparent processes with built-in stakeholder consultation and objection procedures;
• Standards based on the sustainability of target species, ecosystems and management practices.
About SCS Global Services
SCS Global Services has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for more than three decades. Its services span a wide range of industries, recognizing achievements in natural resource protection, the built environment, apparel, food production, and more. SCS is a conformity assessment body accredited by Accreditation Services International (ASI) to certify fisheries to the MSC Fisheries Standard. For this study, SCS employed a team of independent experts to assess the Northeastern Tropical purse seine tuna fishery. The assessment team included experts in marine mammal research, tuna fishing, fisheries management, auditing and data assessment. SCS is a California benefit corporation, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices.