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A school of tuna. (Photo: FADIO/IRD-Ifremer/M.Taquet)

January 2012 a 'historic' moment for the Pacific region: PNA

  (MARSHALL ISLANDS, 1/12/2012)

Dr Transform Aqorau, director of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), called January 2012 historic for the Pacific region now that it has gained a globally recognized eco-label: that of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

“The PNA fulfils its aspiration of being the world’s largest sustainable tuna purse seine fishery,” he wrote.

“The label will apply to all skipjack tuna with documentation proving it is caught without using Fish Aggregating Devices (FADS) on free schools of tuna in the open ocean.

“It has been many years of hard work of our fisheries officials, of our leaders taking difficult decisions despite immense pressure from outsiders to overfish, and of our own local industries and community organizations supporting the PNA to attain this goal. We did it even though we are small nations facing the powerful, and even though we were shut out of the global tuna industry through our place in history, due to our geographic isolation and in the global economy. Now we are players in a major global industry, as I like to say when the Pacific talks tuna, the world listens.

“The PNA can feel proud of its achievement of this eco-label but it is such a dynamic group that it will not stop today. In partnership with a European corporation Sustunable, the PNA has created Pacifical, a corporate enterprise that will trade and market promote MSC certified and socially accredited tuna caught in PNA waters. In the future, a customer in Europe will be able to see on a can of tuna the brand Pacifical, which will assure them the tuna is from our waters and that it meets the highest environmental and social standards.

“In this way, the PNA’s hard work and forward thinking in taking world-first conservation and management measures, will be recognized not just by the praise of environmental organizations, media and fisheries scientists, but it can be appreciated by the average consumer. Campaigns in the UK, Europe, USA, Australia and New Zealand have recently made consumers of tuna much more aware of the environmental consequences of fishing and stimulated demand for industry to do things better.

“The market is competing for options to give consumers and retailers sustainable tuna. With the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) stating five key species of tuna are overfished or vulnerable, politicians and international organizations can no longer support arguments to keep overfishing with any semblance of science or reason. And thanks to the PNA’s determination to assert its rights, the international community recognises our custodianship of our vast 14 million sqkm area of ocean.

“Right now, about the world is listening to the PNA. And we hope we can fill their ears, their minds and their hearts with a desire to support us here to protect our tuna, our oceans and our Pacific way of life”, he concluded.

Related article:

-
Skipjack tuna fishery certification confirmed

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Address: PNA Office PO Box 3992
City: Majuro
State/ZIP: (MH 96960)
Country: Marshall Islands
Phone: +692 625 7626
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