Albacora, as part of the purse seiner fleet associated in OPAGAC, has started the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification evaluation process for the vessels operating in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific fleets.
This decision is the result of the Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) in which Albacora takes part since 2016, along with other associates of OPAGAC and in collaboration with WWF. The activity of the fleet will be evaluated according to the MSC Fisheries Standard, which includes three principles: that the fishing activity is carried out in a way that guarantees the continuity of the stocks, so that they remain productive and healthy; that the environmental impact is minimal; and that the fishery is well managed.
The conformity assessment body Lloyd’s Register will evaluate these three principles of the environmental standard. The results of the analysis of the certifiable Evaluation Units will probably be announced next July.
The origin of this project lies in the commitment made by OPAGAC, during the Our Ocean international conference in 2017, to obtain the MSC certification for all its catches by 2021. According to Julio Morón, Managing Director of OPAGAC, “for many years, we fishermen have been clear about the fact that a fishery that is not sustainable has no future and, therefore, we wish to meet the objectives of both our FIP and our commitment to sustainable and responsible fishing”.
In addition, Albacora´s vessels achieved in 2017 the AENOR “Tuna from Responsible Fishing” certificate (APR, in Spanish). This certificate not only takes into consideration environmental sustainability, but also pioneers the world fishing sector as a safeguard of best practices in the socioeconomic, environmental and fisheries control aspects. APR accredits due control of fishing activity; respect of good practices on board regarding responsible fishing; along with compliance of health and safety and labour conditions, in accordance with ILO Convention 188.
By starting the MSC certification process, Albacora just takes one more step in its commitment to environmentally sustainable and socially responsible fisheries.