Atlantic Ocean Tuna Purse Seine
MSC Certified: December 8, 2021
Last Updated: July 2022
After working for several years with WWF, OPAGAC—an amalgamation of nine Spanish purse seine tuna companies—entered the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) full assessment process in September 2020, and received MSC certification on December 8, 2021.
In the tropical waters of the Atlantic, OPAGAC represents 18 purse seine vessels, catching approximately 28% of the region’s total tropical tuna catch. Most of the fleet’s tuna is processed in regional facilities with most of the canned product exported to markets in Europe.
The management measures adopted by the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) have not been effective to maintain the catches of tropical tuna stocks at the agreed levels. As an example, bigeye tuna is currently overfished and overfishing is occurring. There are also problems with data available for some important fleets (e.g. Ghana, Brazil).
The active involvement of FIP Stakeholders, including International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ), Pew Charitable Trusts, AZTI, the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) and the Spanish Secretary-General for Fisheries (SGP), drove improvements against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard.
FIPs provide a step-by-step approach to bring fishery management practices up to the MSC standard. With support from FIP participants and FIP stakeholders, the FIP achieved several important goals that enabled it to earn certification, including:
We encourage action across the supply chain to support FIP progress. A FIP Participant is an industry member that is part of the seafood supply chain for the FIP product and is actively engaged in supporting the FIP.
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