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PNG claims its MSC tuna landings reached 123,000t in 2021

Papua New Guinea(PNG) grew its landings of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) tuna by 67% in 2021, reaching 123,266 metric tons, it has said.

According to data presented in February at PNG's "tuna fishing industry consultation" -- and sent to Undercurrent News by the Fishing Industry Association, or FIA -- this comprised 73,217t of skipjack, 49,692t of yellowfin, and 357t of bigeye.

That's up from 74,000t of MSC tuna in 2020, and it had guided only for "over 100,000t" for 2021.

Of that 74,000t, the vast majority -- 52,000t -- was skipjack. Only 22,000t of yellowfin was landed in 2020, so catches of this species have more than doubled.

It stressed that 100% of its MSC catches were confirmed by onboard observers -- a claim that has been relevant in the past when PNG faced criticism of how it reports its MSC Figures.

2021's catches were taken by 48 purse seine vessels, and processed by six plants carrying the chain of custody certificate, said the FIA. These plans have combined capacity of 980t per day.

It claimed the MSC certification -- achieved in the first half of 2020 for 64 vessels -- had "increased the awareness in the global market of the PNG tuna sector [as] a hub for responsible tuna sourcing".

PNG's National Fishery Authority (NFA) also announced it has welcomed a new managing director in Justin Ilakini. He has been with the NFA for two years and spent 11 years with the Solomon Islands' Forum Fisheries Agency before that.


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