Fishing Industry Association of PNG's Tuna Purse Seine Fishery rated the largest global tuna source of MSC-certified tuna
The Fishing Industry Association of Papua New Guinea (FIA PNG) has once more gone beyond its expected boundaries to achieve another milestone for the fishing industry relating to the association’s purse seine fishing method.
Purse seines are used in the open ocean to target dense schools of single-species pelagic (midwater) fish like tuna and mackerel. Some of the main species fished with purse seine gear are southern bluefin tuna, Australian sardine, blue mackerel, and jack mackerel.
FIA has recently undergone a strict, exhaustive, and robust scope extension assessment by Scientific Certification System (SCS) Global Services for their Geographical Scope extension into the waters of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) and the Western Central Pacific Ocean waters.
They are proud to announce that they have collectively become the "largest tuna supply source with 750,000 MT of raw material that includes Yellowfin tuna, Skipjack tuna and Bigeye tuna” under their FIA PNG Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) tuna fishery certification.
The waters of the PNA member-countries consist of Kiribati, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau, and are the most productive waters that supply more than 50% of the global tuna raw material.
The President and Chairman of FIA PNG, Sylvester Pokajam stated: “Our current tuna fleet of fifty-five (55) tuna purse seiners is fishing inside the PNG Exclusive Economic Zone and Archipelagic Waters and are having good catches. However, we applied for the geographical scope extension only because we do not know how climate change will influence the tuna stocks' behaviour and migration patterns”.
"We safely guarantee our stakeholders, clients, and retailer partners that we will maintain the same rigor with the 100% observer onboard coverage, iFIMS real-time data collection and Global Fishing Watch (GFW) in accessing our Vessel Monitoring System".
"FIA will also like to ensure our clients that we will maintain best practices in Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability Key Data Elements, data collection & share, and most importantly, the FIA PNG accountability and management control system under our Responsible Sourcing Policy", Mr Pokajam said.
The announcement of becoming the largest tuna supply source “is a result of great teamwork by our FIA PNG tuna fleet members and our FIA PNG office team to provide enough verifiable evidence to show how we are managing our fishery in a responsible and transparent manner to SCS Global services, the MSC conformity assessment body,” he said.
Mr Pokajam also expressed his gratitude to the country's flagship in the fisheries sector, and expressed that FIA greatly appreciates the support of the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) as “the guard and regulator of our fisheries and tuna fleets.”
Pokajam urged all of FIA's retailers and global tuna markets to ensure a stable and sustainable tuna supply, aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of food security.