We did it again! We have achieved the Marine Stewardship Council’s sustainable fishing certification for our fleet’s most caught tuna species and in the entire Eastern Pacific Ocean. That’s right, the famous and delicious skipjack tuna, the one in the tuna can.
But how did we achieve it?
With a lot of joint work of technical-scientific specialists who carried out all the necessary studies to know the population situation of this species of tropical tuna and thus verify that it is in good health, which will help to make better decisions for conservation and its proper use.
During this time we have had a close collaboration between private sector organizations, with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF Ecuador), with the scientific staff of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission IATTC. With public institutions such as the Vice Ministry and Undersecretary of Fisheries of Ecuador, so we have achieved an appropriate working environment to achieve management that highlights the good practices of fishing operations in the Eastern Pacific.
Speaking of good practices, the protagonists of this are our Captains and Crew members to the rescue. They apply the best techniques for handling and releasing the vulnerable fauna that usually swims with the tuna shoal and that they return to the sea, always safeguarding their physical integrity, but doing everything necessary to achieve their goal.
We implemented a voluntary program of human observers aboard 100% of the small fleet that was not obliged to carry them, to complement the monitoring carried out by the IATTC, and all this with the aim of generating more technical information that will strengthen future scientific studies and provide a more accurate picture of the status of the fishery.
Our conservation actions with the ecosystem are further strengthened by our unprecedented commitment in other oceans since 2021 when we started the replacement of 20% of traditional FADs, which are usually made of synthetic materials, with new FADs made of biodegradable and plant-based materials. We hope to increase this amount more and more, certainly reaching 100% of ecological FADs to minimize plastic pollution. Speaking of which, we invite you to review the details of the cleanup days in the Caring for Galapagos initiative.
A year ago we achieved the certification of the most demanding and recognized scientific standard in the world, which is the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for yellowfin tuna; the one we eat in the Ecuadorian encebollado, today we have achieved that of skipjack tuna; the canned tuna with which you eat a salad, with rice or in a delicious sandwich. And our work does not end, because we are going for bigeye tuna, this is the one for sushi … but all these species are also a fundamental part of our exportable supply that have managed to generate one of the most successful industrial chains in our region, so now all tuna fishery products from the vessels of the member companies of tunacons have the seal of sustainability of the MSC, because in TUNACONS, we collaborate together for a healthy marine ecosystem.
Facts about the fishery:
Ecuador is the first tuna producer in the region, the second exporter worldwide only after the giant Thailand.
It generates more than 100,000 jobs throughout the production chain.
More than 200,000 tons of skipjack tuna are caught annually in Ecuador.
Facts about TUNACONS
The TUNACONS fleet represents 25% of the total EPO catches.
TUNACONS has been promoting sustainable practices in Ecuador and the region for 6 years.
Founding members of TUNACONS are the Ecuadorian companies NIRSA, Servigrup and Eurofish, the Panamanian company Jadran and the American company Tri Marine Group, which have achieved this certification.
New TUNACONS members: Manacripex, Marbelize and Pacifictuna are implementing an action plan to achieve certification in the near future.