Undercurrent News, October 14.
An objection filed by the Coalition for Transparent Tuna Fisheries (CTTF) against the scope extension of the PNA’s pacific tuna fisheries has been successful. The adjudicator upheld the objection on the basis of FAD use and a lack of harvest control rules for bigeye by the WCPFC.
The IA, John McKendrick said “I am simply upholding the MSC standard and on the fact that the CAB have not been able to show the management body has committed to introduce harvest control rules before bigeye tuna stocks decline below BMSY”.
This decision means that the fishery cannot be granted MSC certification. CTTF now calls on the MSC to “immediately halt any new drifting FAD fisheries being proposed for MSC certification in order to save its own reputation as a responsible certification body with integrity”.
Our thoughts: It is not often that MSC objections are upheld, making this a huge win. The process is time and energy-consuming, and many are not upheld, resulting in fisheries being certified. We applaud CTTF for their hard work on this objection. The ruling however also highlights again that winning an objection is most likely to be successful when the CAB ignores the lack of existing HCRs for the stock designated as UoC. This is also the case for bigeye in the WCPFC. However, under the new Standard 3.0 fisheries will now have 10 years for newly certified stocks before HCRs have to be in place, which will remove this leverage for objections in the future and will allow many fisheries to become certified for stocks without HCRs in place, including sharks and a range of threatened species, that will be designated as ‘in scope’ under the new Standard.