The PNA has started the process of MSC recertification for its entire purse seine fishery, which will now be assessed against the new MSC standard (V2.01). The reassessment includes freeschool and FAD fisheries for skipjack, yellowfin and bigeye.
‘The outcome of the last year’s attempt to get a scope extension for bigeye and FADs was disappointing, but it only strengthened the determination of our region to prove that our fishery is fully sustainable, and it encouraged the Pacific nations to not give up on its position,’ a PNA representative stated.
‘At Pacifical we are confident this process is on track to result in a positive outcome.’
During the second half of 2022 the PNA went through a lengthy and arduous dispute process of adjudication.
‘The objection prevented the PNA, the world’s largest, the best managed and most sustainable fishery to get MSC for for bigeye and FAD captures,’ PNA’s representative stated.
‘The decision confused stakeholders since multiple tuna fishing companies operating in PNA waters had already obtained FAD and bigeye MSC certifications without any objection whatsoever. There are now eleven certified purse seine fisheries, of which ten hold the sustainable logo for bigeye. The paradox was simply-put, mind blowing. How most of these eleven certifications could pass on bigeye, all of them on FADs, yet the group of island nations that manage these waters and monitor these companies day in and day out would be denied? Same waters, same gear, same vessels and same management measures?’
As an update on Compartmentalisation Rule, the deadline for this has been extended to 21 September 2023. This refers to storage of MSC and non-MSC catches in separate compartments on board a purse seiner. A change in the MSC rules now requires the PNA MSC certified fishery to include not only free school sets but also FAD sets.
‘This is an important topic. The addition of FADs to the current certification was not one PNA willingly decided to take on, it was rather forced upon the island nations after pressure by certain commercial market parties and NGOs,’ PNA’s representative commented.
‘This is the same group who submitted the objection for FAD scope extension and earlier demanded an end to compartmentalisation.’