The Spanish National Association of Freezer Tuna Vessel Owners (ANABAC) has embarked on an MSC evaluation process for Indian Ocean skipjack tuna in FAO zones 51 and 57.
This follows the award in 2021 of MSC certification for the group’s yellowfin catches. Assuming the current evaluation is successful, catches landed from both free school and FAD fisheries by the ANABAC vessels will able to carry the MSC blue tick.
‘Following the first MSC certification of the Atlantic Ocean tuna free school fishery, obtained last year, the assessment of our Indian Ocean skipjack fishery is the natural step taken by ANABAC in its plan to certify under the MSC standard all its fisheries,’ said ANABAC president Borja Soroa.
Of the vessels within the ANABAC grouping, there are eight that fish for Indian Ocean skipjack – Izurdia, Doniene, Playa de Aritzatxu, Playa de Ris, Artza, Morne Blanc, Morn Seselwa and Playa de Anzoras, which are owned by fishing companies Atunsa and Pevasa. Four of these vessels operate under the Spanish flag and four are Seychelles-flagged.
‘A year ago we celebrated the MSC certification for the Atlantic yellowfin tuna catches of the ANABAC fleet,’ said MSC programme director for Spain and Portugal Laura Rodríguez.
‘We are pleased that the association has now decided to assess its catches of skipjack tuna in the Indian Ocean by undergoing independent and participatory assessment process to the MSC standard. We wish the member companies of ANABAC much success.’
The certification will be carried out by independent certifier Bureau Veritas.