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300 million+ Yellowfin tuna in the Western Central Pacific

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Science from the experts in the Western Pacific shows Yellowfin stocks in the area Sealord sources its tuna are at healthy levels.

According to General Manager of Sealord Marketing, Stu Yorston, there is confusion about Sealord Yellowfin tuna which is not fished in New Zealand but from a healthy stock with more than 300,000,000 fish.

"The fisheries data shows Yellowfin stocks are healthy - there are hundreds of millions of fish in the area. The experts are warning though, that there should not be increased fishing of this stock in this area.

"Sealord understands this. We have reduced the amount of Yellowfin tuna used in our products and around 84% of Sealord tuna is made from Skipjack, the region’s most abundant stock. "So people who enjoy Yellowfin should continue to eat it - we are sourcing it carefully and working closely with the experts to understand any changes or concerns," said Yorston.

Part of this approach is the company’s commitment to reduce bycatch to no more than 1% of catch by 2015. Sealord is trialling FAD-free Yellowfin from July this year, as one of the ways of achieving this. When catch by catch information becomes available, it will select the best fishermen whether they use FADs or are FAD-free.

New Zealanders eat less than 0.5% of the world’s canned tuna, which is why Sealord works with groups such as the International Sustainable Seafood Foundation (ISSF) to increase its influence on this massive market.

"Being a member of the ISSF means we can punch above our weight and benefit from the combined influence of the world’s largest group of industry, environment groups and scientists." Sealord has also recently signed the WWF Tuna Conservation WWF Tuna Pledge.

The company also launched the first New Zealand tuna that has the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) eco-label - following an independent sustainability certification process.

"Our commitment is to source tuna from the best fishermen in the world and we know we will have to continue making improvements. Sourcing overfished stocks is not the way our people operate," said Yorston.

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