Due to the high vulnerabilities of small island developing states and their economies to the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the governments of the PNA + Tokelau nations have each implemented strict quarantine controls to ensure the safety of their peoples. This has seen airports and sea ports closed or seriously restricted.
As a result, PNA + have suspended the requirement of 100% observer coverage onboard all purse seine vessels in PNA waters. Globally, RFMOs and regional fishery bodies have taken similar actions.
During this time, PNA+ have compensated for the reduced observer coverage by instituting some additional mandatory requirements including live logsheet data feeds and hourly VMS reporting. This ensures there is still demonstrable and verifiable traceability from pre trip, to fishing set and onboard handling, through to transshipment and discharge of MSC eligible skipjack and yellowfin at processors; and maintains data for science, compliance and IUU mitigation as well as the high standards of the PNA CoC scheme
Customers can rest assured that only MSC eligible batches that meet the benchmark will be certified MSC after the multiple layers of validation and that Pacifical MSC tuna continues to be backed by the highest standard of CoC and traceability from sea to retail available in the market.
The PNA CoC variation was approved by SCS Global Services, PNA’s CoC conformity assessment body which assesses and audits the PNA’s MSC CoC Certificate every year. According to Jason Swecker, Director Sales and Marketing – Seafood at SCS - “SCS finds this documented provision acceptable and that PNA’s activities related to internal audits remain in compliance with the MSC CoC requirements for vessels already part of the CoC certificate through the end of the proposed suspension.”
The waters of the PNA+ account for around half of the global catch of skipjack tuna. The PNA free school purse seine fishery is the largest MSC certified sustainable tuna fishery in the world and the PNA CoC remains the industry best practice through these difficult and extraordinary times.