Tuesday, 24 April 2012 8:46 AM

Sustainable Tuna Expected from New Agreement

Pacifical is a global company jointly set up by the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) countries in 2011 of which Solomon Islands is a member.

This company is to promote PNA and actively trade their Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified sustainable caught free school skipjack, which is also processed in a socially responsible and fair way in the region, to tuna consumers around the world.

The PNA countries are the Federate States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.

Now that the PNA waters are MSC certified there will be concrete evidence and witnesses verifying and supervising that the skipjack caught and used by Pacifical is sourced from MSC certified FAD-free tuna caught by vessels participating under the PNA MSC free school skipjack scheme.

PNA countries together have 25 percent of the world tuna stocks in their waters. Their free school skipjack purse seine fishery obtained MSC certification last December, and within a few months the distinctive blue MSC logo, along with the Pacifical co-brand, will accompany the skipjack tuna cans indicating that the tuna comes from well-managed and sustainable fisheries.

For most of the PNA countries tuna is the most important and often the only major source of income, however today only a very small part of the economic benefits of tuna flow back to the Pacifical countries

With MSC certification onboard, Pacifical sets sail to start delivering sustainable tuna as well as giving its people the right of getting benefit from their own resources. "We live in this region, we live and breathe tuna and for many of our members, they have nothing else but tuna" said Dr. Transform Aqorau, director of PNA.

Tuna canning plants can provide work and income to over a thousand families. The initiative to start Pacifical c.v. was taken by the leaders of the 8 PNA countries, because they want to see: Sustainable fishing of tuna within PNA waters; Employment and other participation opportunities for its people; Fair share of the economic return on their main natural resource: tuna; A closer cooperation with the business and private sector; Build closer relations with the retailers and consumers in the end markets.

Right now there are about 265 tuna vessels in total in PNA waters. Some of them are already actively working with Pacifical and enthusiastic with the idea of having separate wells for free school skipjack.

In order to strengthen its marketing power and expertise PNA has chosen to joint venture in Pacifical c.v with the Netherlands based company Sustunable bv, a company which has been a pioneer in trading responsibly caught tuna since 2007, also by providing full on-line traceability for their tuna products to retailers and it gives consumers a window into the Pacific.

BSCI code of conduct will be applied to working conditions throughout the entire tuna supply chain - both on the boats and in the tuna processing plants.

To provide the best possible communication with buyers, and to be geographically close to customers in the target markets, the marketing office of Pacifical is based in the Netherlands.

Pacifical aims to market its tuna at prices that are affordable to the average consumer, without positioning "sustainable caught and produced tuna" as highly priced premium niche products only within the reach of those with larger budgets.

PNA tuna processing plants also process tuna products for the local population, since tuna is high protein and healthy food source for the PNA people, this offers food security and saves valuable foreign exchange, now spend to buy foreign food

Pacifical countries are bearing an enormous cost of managing their resources, they employ thousands of scientists, on-board observers, and officials.

They operate advanced vessel satellite-monitoring systems, run sophisticated database systems, to register, monitor and manage the exact tuna catches within their waters to assure that no illegal fishing takes place and all regulations are met.

These Pacifical island nations are located in the Western Central Pacific Ocean - between 20° North and 20° South - straddling the equator. The area of the EEZ's ( Exclusive Economic Zones) of the 8 PNA countries combined 14.8million square kilometres or 40 percent larger than the size of Europe.

The tuna catches within waters of the PNA are about 1.1 million tons or about 25 percent of the total global catch of all tuna species combined.

PNA waters hold almost 50 percent of the global skipjack stock and of the approximately 590 large tuna purse seiner vessels in the world, 252 boats fish within PNA waters.

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