Bigeye tuna MSC certified for the first time

A Chinese tuna fishery has already received MSC certification for its yellowfin tuna (above) and, for the first time, its bigeye tuna is also certified Photo: NOAA A Chinese tuna fishery has already received MSC certification for its yellowfin tuna (above) and, for the first time, its bigeye tuna is also certified Photo: NOAA

A Chinese owned longline yellowfin and bigeye tuna fishery in the Federated States of Micronesia has achieved Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for its bigeye tuna catch, the first time that bigeye has received MSC certification.

The fishery, owned by three Chinese fishing companies, Liancheng Overseas Fishery (Shenzhen), China Southern Fishery Shenzhen, and Liancheng Overseas Fishery, achieved MSC certification for yellowfin in October 2018.  Following an independent assessment by conformity assessment body, Control Union, bigeye can now be added to the list.

Bill Holden, senior fisheries outreach manager for the MSC in Oceania & South East Asia, said: “We congratulate Liancheng and their partners for becoming the first fishery to be eligible to sell MSC certified bigeye tuna.

“They are demonstrating true leadership in sustainable fishing.”

The latest stock assessment for bigeye in the Western Central Pacific Ocean shows that stocks are healthy and being fished at a sustainable rate. In order to ensure that the fishery can respond to any changes in the health of the bigeye stock, certification is conditional upon the adoption of harvest strategies including harvest control rules, by all member states of the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission by 2021.

Liancheng is also responsible for the Cook Islands South Pacific albacore and yellowfin longline fishery which achieved MSC certification in 2015. Its yellowfin and bigeye tuna fisheries in the Republic of Marshall Islands are also undergoing MSC assessment, with a conclusion expected by the end of 2019.

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