Miyagi firm wins world’s first sustainable label for tuna fishing

15-Aug-2020 Intellasia | JapanTimes | 6:02 AM Print This Post

A fishery based in northeastern Japan has acquired the world’s first certification for sustainable bluefin tuna fishing, according to the Marine Stewardship Council.

The MSC’s blue fish label certifies that Usufuku Honten Co. in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, takes full measures to ensure that the endangered bluefin tuna a popular fish for sushi and sashimi is sustainably sourced, the London-based body said in a statement released Thursday.

A tuna festival is held in Sakaiminato, Tottori Prefecture, in June 2019.  (KYODO)

A tuna festival is held in Sakaiminato, Tottori Prefecture, in June 2019. (KYODO)

The fishery operates in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, where the population of bluefin tuna has been recovering thanks to conservation efforts, according to the council, an international non-profit organisation promoting sustainable fisheries.

The MSC has determined that the fishery’s activities, including its distribution management, meet global standards for sustainable fishing.

Sotaro Usui, president of Usufuku Honten, said many products of dubious origin are circulating in the Japanese market and expressed concern over rampant illegal fishing around the world.

“We hope this certification leads to a deeper understanding (of the need) for sustainable seafood,” Usui added.

One of the company’s longline fishing boats was subject to the certification.

In 2018, the boat caught 55 tonnes of bluefin tuna. The total allowable catch for that year was 28,200 tonnes, according to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas.

Usufuku Honten plans to sell its bluefin tuna products bearing the MSC blue fish label in the Japanese and US markets.

Some environmentalist groups argued during the screening process that it is too early to hand out sustainability certifications, as the bluefin tuna population is still in the process of recovering.

But the Japanese fishery obtained certification after an independent legal expert assessed that the company’s measures had reflected such concerns.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/08/14/business/japan-sustainable-tuna-fishing-label/#.XzZLf4gzbs2

 


Category: Japan

Print This Post