The PNA’s Pacifical tuna label was praised by a major Australian food company for being the “only true sustainable” fishing model in the world.
Over the last 15 months, Australian-based Simplot, a large agricultural and seafood supply company with annual sales over $5 billion, has sold 100 million cans of tuna with the Pacifical/Marine Stewardship Council logos. This is tuna sourced from Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) waters that is the subject of what is known as a “chain of custody” that verifies the tuna was caught without the use of fish aggregation devices (FADs). So-called “free school” (without FADs) fishing is considered a sustainable fishing method.
“In late 2012, Simplot committed to only source tuna from sustainable fishing methods,” said Manni Kalisperis, Simplot’s outsource procurement manager. But at the time, there was no solution to his company’s requirement. Between 2012 and 2015, the company evaluated all options for buying tuna caught in a sustainable way. They looked at pole and line fishing, a range of FAD-free purse seine fishing with self-certification systems, and Pacifical’s program. “We chose Pacifical over everything else,” he said. “It was clear for us that the only true sustainable model was the Pacifical model.”
Kalisperis’ comments were in a video that was shown to the recently held PNA officials annual meeting in Majuro.
The combination of PNA having the best certification system, the stamp of approval of the globally-recognized Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), and an independent chain of custody sold Simplot on doing business with PNA’s Pacfical label, Kalisperis said.
Demonstrating the company’s seriousness in developing the market for sustainably caught tuna, it is investing $6 million in 2016-17 to promote its Pacifical/MSC tuna products to consumers in Australia, he said.
But what caught them by surprise “is the impact we’ve had on other markets around the world,” he said. Since becoming the first national brand to move 100 percent of its tuna products to Pacifical/MSC tuna in Australia 15 months ago, “we have had numerous calls from major brands and private labels (around the world),” he said. The calls have come from companies in England, Spain, France, Sweden, the US and Canada, he said. “They are all asking how we did it,” he said. “We are directing them to Pacifical. Get on board with this program because it’s the only independently verifiable standard.”
He emphasized the importance of the rigorous chain of custody enforced by Pacifical that confirms the tuna sold as “sustainably caught” is, in fact, caught sustainably, without the use of FADs.
Read more about this in the April 28, 2017 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.