Northwest Tuna Trollers enter agreement for MSC Certification

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The Western Fish Boat Owners Association (WFOA) and the Canadian Highly Migratory Species Foundation (CHMSF), have completed a collaborative funding agreement to undertake a full assessment for Marine Stewardship Certification for North American North Pacific Albacore Tuna.

Deckhand with albacore

It's a global market and the MSC logo is an internationally recognized symbol of good management and sustainability

Redding, CA - The Western Fish Boat Owners Association (WFOA) and the Canadian Highly Migratory Species Foundation (CHMSF), have completed a collaborative funding agreement to undertake a full assessment for Marine Stewardship Certification for North American North Pacific Albacore Tuna.

The fisheries under assessment are defined as the Albacore Tuna (Thunnus alalunga) North Pacific stock fished by WFOA and CHMSF vessels members using troll and jig and pole and line and troll and jig, respectively as fishing methods. The fishing fleets operate within USA EEZ, Canadian EEZ and West of the International Dateline in the North Pacific International Waters.

The Certifier, I:FQC Ltd, an International seafood specialist Certification Body, has been contracted to perform the assessments of both fisheries.

WFOA director, Wayne Heikkila said that certification was a necessary step for the Association with many retailers and restaurants buying only product carrying the MSC logo, including Sainsbury's in the UK. Wal-Mart has also pledged to make a full switch to certified fisheries by 2011.

"It's a global market and the MSC logo is an internationally recognized symbol of good management and sustainability," says Heikkila. "We pride ourselves on our environmental record and this is an effective way to communicate it to our customers around the world." On successful certification, customers of the two Organizations may apply to IFQC for certification to the MSC Chain of Custody Standard in order to display the prestigious Marine Stewardship Council Eco-Label on their tuna products.

WFOA member-vessels have been trolling for albacore for almost a century in the Pacific Northwest. There is near-zero by-catch with this method of fishing which is endorsed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The WFOA is a non-profit association representing more than 400 family-owned albacore fishing vessels, fishermen and supporting businesses. They are involved in fisheries' management issues at the state, federal, and international level. The CHMSF is a non-profit association offering the same representation for the Canadian albacore fishing industry.

I:FQC wishes to invite all organisations or individuals with a direct interest in these fisheries to make written comment, provide information or nominate other organisations that should be contacted with respect to the assessment process (in terms of the status of the stock, ecosystem interactions or fishery management practices). Comments should be directed to Dr. Antonio Hervás, I:FQC Fisheries Manager at the following address: msc (at) ifqcglobal (dot) com.

About Wild Pacific Albacore
Wild Pacific albacore is troll-caught, one fish at a time, in temperate North Pacific waters. It is a superior tuna with a mild, rich flavor and firm flesh. It is available fresh, frozen or as canned 'white', 'troll-caught' or 'US-caught' albacore.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium's guide to sustainable seafood names US troll-caught albacore on its "Best Choice'' list.

http://www.PacificAlbacore.com

About WFOA
The Western Fishboat Owners Association (WFOA) is a non-profit association representing more than 400 family-owned albacore fishing vessels, fishermen and supporting businesses. They are involved in fisheries' management issues at the state, federal, and international level.

Members generally fish Northern Pacific waters and are based in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, New Zealand, and British Columbia.

The WFOA is the managing agency for the American Fishermen's Research Foundation (AFRF). AFRF is involved in research in areas such as archival tagging, environmental management, selenium and health research. AFRF programs are conducted with the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, and various universities.

http://www.wfoa-tuna.org

Contact
Brooke George
323 382 0102

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