Trouble in MSC tuna ‘paradise’ as PNG seeks to break from Pacifical

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From Under Current News

An association of powerful tuna firms in Papua New Guinea (PNG), which boasts some Asian giants as members, intends to obtain its own Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification and terminate a collaboration with Pacifical, an EU-based sales company which uses the marketing line “sustainable tuna straight from paradise”.

PNG is better off going it alone on MSC and breaking away from the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) country group partnered with Pacifical, said Sylvester Pokajam, president and chairman of the Fishing Industry Association (FIA) of PNG, which represents tuna giants Fong Chun Formosa Fishery Company (FCF), Frabelle Corp, and RD Corp, as well as a joint venture which counts Thai Union Group as a partner.

Pacifical is “not transparent with its accounts and financial operations and reporting”, Pokajam told Undercurrent News, when asked why PNG has decided to obtain its own MSC certification, as announced on Aug. 10.

Henk Brus, managing director of Pacifical, and Maurice Brownjohn, commercial manager for the PNA, a group of tiny Pacific island nations that control the largest MSC tuna resource in the world, refuted these allegations, however.

In a statement sent to Undercurrent, the PNA and Pacifical rejected the non-transparency claim, referring to it as “clearly mischievous and commercially motivated”.

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