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MSC hits back at On the Hook campaign

Published by FiskerForum, 01-09-2017 · info@fiskerforum.dk

The Marine Stewardship Council, which certifies fisheries as sustainable as long as they meet its requirements, has hit back at criticism levelled at it by the On the Hook campaign that has conducted a concerted media campaign against MSC recertification of the PNA tuna fishery.

‘The MSC is disappointed to see these misleading and false claims and strongly rejects the accusation of duping consumers,’ said an MSC spokesperson, commenting that consumers can be confident that the blue tick logo certifies that a fish has been responsibly caught.

The On the Hook campaign’s argument is that as only part of the PNA tuna fishery is certified, when participating vessels fish on free schools, the opportunity is there for those catches to be mixed with uncertified catches taken when fishing around FADs.

‘Our strict chain of custody requirements ensures that certified and non-certified catch are clearly segregated.’

‘The PNA tuna fishery achieved MSC certification following an in-depth assessment by an independent certification body. The MSC Fisheries Standard is founded on three principles: healthy fish stocks, sustainable impact on the wider marine environment, and effective fishery management. The PNA is now undergoing full reassessment to the MSC Fisheries Standard, as is required every five years for all fisheries in the MSC programme.,’ the MSC stated.

‘Third-party scrutiny, independence, impartiality and stakeholder consultation are central to the MSC’s values and commitment to continually improve and maintain world-leading standards,’ commented MSC Science and Standards Director Dr. David Agnew.

‘The MSC works tirelessly to understand and unite a complex set of often differing views among our stakeholders – fisheries, retailers, brands, NGOs, scientists, and of course consumers – and galvanise them all in pursuit of a shared goal that all can benefit from, regardless of their differences.’

He pointed out that some stakeholders have raised concerns relating to the use of multiple fishing techniques to catch certified and non-certified products from the same vessel.

‘These concerns were discussed and listened to during a workshop organised by the MSC in June. The MSC has since developed three potential options to address these concerns. These will go to formal consultation with stakeholders from 1 September. Following this consultation, feedback and options will be considered by our stakeholder and technical advisory groups, and a recommendation put to the MSC Board in January 2018. We hope that all those involved on the On the Hook campaign will participate in this process.’

Source: MSC, On the Hook

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