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John West, WWF And MSC Unite for Sustainable Oceans

Media release

27 OCTOBER 2016

John West, WWF And MSC Unite for Sustainable Oceans

John West announces New Zealand’s most significant canned tuna sustainability initiative yet with Pacifical tuna

Imagine a world without fish. John West New Zealand, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and sustainable fishery, Pacifical, today announced John West’s commitment to sourcing tuna exclusively caught through sustainable fishing methods. The move to exclusively source MSC certified tuna represents New Zealand’s most significant canned tuna sustainability initiative yet.

The partnership between John West, WWF, MSC and Pacifical is the result of years of the entities working together to overhaul John West’s supply chain to source from the gold standard in certified sustainable seafood in the Pacific region, moving towards a more sustainable future for the world’s oceans.

All John West skipjack tuna sold in New Zealand is now MSC certified, proving John West New Zealand’s commitment to safeguard our oceans for future generations.

WWF-New Zealand Head of Campaigns Peter Hardstaff says, “Globally, our oceans are in crisis due to a history of mismanagement by humanity. As a result of the collaborative effort by WWF, MSC and John West, New Zealanders now have the choice to buy cans of clearly labelled Pacifical MSC certified, sustainably caught tuna in supermarkets for the first time. This is a major step forward for sustainable fishing in the Pacific, where the tuna is sourced, thanks to the leadership of John West New Zealand.

“MSC is the world’s most credible sustainability standard for wild caught fish, a process which requires independent third party auditors to evaluate a fishery’s performance against the most robust sustainability standards available globally”, Hardstaff says.

The MSC certified skipjack tuna is being sourced from the world’s largest sustainable purse seine fishery, Pacifical, controlled by the PNA (Parties to the Nauru Agreement). The 8 Pacific Island nations united within the PNA are world leaders in tuna conservation and management with many global firsts, such as high seas closures to fishing, observers on 100% of purse seine fishing vessels, fishing day restrictions and the certification of its FAD-free purse seine skipjack tuna as MSC Sustainable in 2011. 50% of the world’s supply of skipjack tuna is controlled by PNA.

The size of marine populations has declined by almost half (49%) between 1970 and 2012, however John West New Zealand is confident its position will aid in bringing awareness to the issue on a global scale.

Simplot New Zealand Country Manager Chris Buddle says, “In 2012, we pledged that by 2016, John West New Zealand would only source skipjack tuna caught in purse seine fishing nets, using independently verified fish aggregation device (FAD)-free methods. After three years of extensive research, close collaboration with MSC, Pacifical and WWF, I am proud to announce that we are now not only sourcing FAD-free, our skipjack tuna is also MSC certified, sustainable and completely traceable from ocean to can.

“Our commitment extends much further, however, and aims not only to educate, but also to ingrain this perspective. We must position ocean sustainability as the ‘norm’ and only option moving forward”, says Buddle.

MSC Program Director Oceania Anne Gabriel says, “The MSC commends John West New Zealand for their concrete action in offering consumers a responsible option in ensuring the can of tuna purchased today, goes a long way in protecting our ocean tomorrow, and for generations to come. By transforming their supply chain to source only MSC certified skipjack tuna, John West New Zealand is feeding straight into consumers’ expectations as they become increasingly concerned about the environment, food and are more prepared now than ever to take responsibility for the part they play. John West is a trailblazer in the canned tuna sector.”

Henk Brus, Managing Director of Pacifical and Maurice Brownjohn, Commercial Director of the PNA office jointly state, “We congratulate John West New Zealand for their commitment and decision to become actively and intensively involved in the trade of their sustainable MSC certified Pacifical Wild Tuna. Safeguarding that this fish is caught in the most responsible, socially accountable and ethical way, and ensuring local PNA people benefit to the maximum extent from their own valuable resource, their principal source of income.”

John West New Zealand is committed to ongoing efforts to help ensure our oceans are healthy, forever.

Consumers can learn more about the traceability of MSC certified John West New Zealand tuna and by visiting https://youtu.be/KuVCUjNnU8Aand www.OurOceansForever.com.au



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