Princes Group has developed a plan to source and sell 100% of its tuna products from Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified sustainable fisheries by the end of 2025.
Thereby, the UK company will increase MSC labeled tuna products to 25% by the end of 2023, 50% in 2024, and 100% by the end of 2025.
In other words, 75 million cans (11,000 tonnes) of MSC-certified tuna per year. Consequently, the amount of certified sustainable tuna available in the UK will increase by five times, based on current volumes.
In addition to the Group’s existing MSC certified suppliers, source fisheries will add newly MSC certified fleets. Further, it has been supporting Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) for over five years.
About this, Neil Bohannon, Group Director for Seafood at Prince’s, said: “Our 100% MSC-certified sustainable sourcing goal is another ambitious target, but one that we are confident in reaching through continued investment and engagement with retailers, fisheries, NGOs, and other industry players.”
Besides, George Clark, Programme Director, UK & Ireland at the Marine Stewardship Council, said: “Princes are actively supporting UK tuna shoppers that are looking for sustainable products, and who will now have more certified sustainable canned tuna options than ever before. Based on current figures, this commitment will mean there will be five times more certified sustainable tuna available in the UK, compared to now, in just over three years.”
Finally, Tom Pickerell, Executive Director of the Global Tuna Alliance (GTA), commented: This ambitious announcement by Princes meets that target and puts pressure on producers and managers to ensure that tuna products can be sourced from fisheries that employ science-based management plans and measures to ensure that impacts of fisheries on the environment are acceptable.”
Princes Group goals
In 2019, Princes was one of the founding partners of Senegal pole and line tuna FIP in Senegal. This followed Princes’ investment as a founding member of the Sustainable Indian Ocean Tuna Initiative (SIOTI), a partnership of tuna processors, vessel owners, government agencies and WWF to help the purse seine fishery in the region meet MSC sustainability standards.
Furthermore, it is a founding partner of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), established in 2009, and plays an active leadership role in the organization’s important work and projects to advance the sustainability of tuna stocks and their ecosystems through a science-based research approach. Additionally, Princes’ two tuna processing sites in Mauritius are MSC Chain of Custody certified.
Last year, the company also announced it had reached its goal of reducing Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna sourcing by 50% on 2017 levels, a year ahead of its 2022 deadline, to support the long-term sustainability of the stock.