MSC eco-label obtaining of skipjacks and tuna caught by pole-and-line fishing

Eco-friendly seafoods? In recent years, consumers prefer to choose food that has been produced in a manner that considers the environment. For crops, there are many different certifications such as organic JAS standardized by Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and eco-label provided by each prefecture for example, Hokkaido safe label and Tokyo eco agricultural products. Nevertheless, for marine products, there are eco-label from MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certifying natural seafood, and eco-label from ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) certifying farmed seafood.

According to the CHUNICHI Web, Meiho Fishing seems to have successfully obtained MSC eco-label of world standard with skipjacks and tuna caught by pole-and-line fishing.

“Meiho Fishing”, special for pole-and-line fishing company from Shiogama City, Miyagi Prefecture, has been working to apply for “eco-label of the sea”, the certification of approval to the fishery in consideration of the resource management and environmental conservation, from an international organizations “Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)”. MSC of Japan office on the 31st confirmed and announced the application. If successfully passing the examination of specialized agencies, between 1 year and one and a half years at the earliest, certification of eco-label of the sea can be obtained. “Meiho Fishing” will become the third example of fishery companies with MSC certification after Plaice Fishery from Kyoto Prefecture and Scallop Fishing from Hokkaido.

Reference CHUNICHI Web:

If “Meiho Fishing” could successfully obtain the MSC eco-label, it actually is the 4th example in Japan. So far, the fishery companies or organizations that have obtained MSC eco-label in Asia are Kyoto Danish Seine Fishery machine ship Federation of plaice, Tosakatsuo Fisheries of bonito of pole and line, and Hokkaido Fisheries Cooperative Association.

Tosakatsuo fisheries that has acquired the MSC ecolabel as the second example in Japan, was traumatised by Tohoku Earthquake and has gone bankrupt in May 2012. Tosakatsuo Fisheries was aiming at the reviving of pole and line fishing, and establishing environment to prevent overfishing = branding the superiority of pole-and-line fishing project. Tosakatsuo fisheries managed to obtain MSC eco-label, and prepared for exporting canned pole and line fished skipjacks to the United States, yet Tohoku Earthquake happened. Multiple refrigeration facilities in the disaster area were destroyed, and the plan was forced to stop. Furthermore, poor catch acted as a final blow and led Tosakatsuo Fisheries to bankruptcy.

Where to buy MSC ecolabelled products?

There are certifications to show fish and other seafood have been caught while following the regulation to preserve the marine environment, and these seafood with MSC ecolabel will also require authentication from MSC for distribution and further processing (COC authentication). In 2006, EAON group, Japan’s largest retailer cooperation, has begun to sell MSC products. ※For retailers, if ever want to use MSC ecolabel in advertising to publicity, COC authentication is required.

Seafood with MSC eco-label, as described above, can be purchased at Kamewa shops and Kinokuniya, where for the first time have COC authentication in Japan. If you are interested, why not give it a shot?

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Written by FUJI-KIZAI

Since its establishment in 1960, FUJI-KIZAI has been manufacturing and selling a wide variety of fishing equipment and supplies for longline fishing including aluminum sleeves, swivels, crimping tools, nylon lines. Also, gear and tackle for all kinds of fishing is available.