Longline fishing companies catching adult bigeye in the western Pacific Ocean are likely to face restrictions as growing concern surrounds the stock status of this species.
While strong efforts from the WCPFC have already been focused towards reducing the amount of fishing on FADs by purse seine fleets, environmental group Greenpeace says that longline fishing companies are also likely to face restriction measures.
Thomas Kraft, Managing Director of Norpac Fisheries Export in Hawaii, one of the main catchers of bigeye via longline said: “Targeting longline fleets, which catch predominantly mature bigeye tuna is being penny wise but pound foolish. Purse seine effort and catch is exponentially greater, and the observer data, as well as the recent ISSF publications, squarely place the problem of bigeye overfishing on juvenile catch by purse seine vessels utilizing FADs to capture skipjack tuna.”
Recent reports have shown the PNA Secretariat raising concern over the sustainability of the bigeye stocks. The Secretariat is due to present draft measures to a critical working group of the WCPFC. Among other proposals they call for a gradual cut on longline fishing.
But Thomas Kraft does not agree that this is where the solution lies: “It may be a bit disingenuous to now target longliners, while continually turning a blind eye to the crux of the problem, and where a solution to overfishing of bigeye is truly achievable.
“It may just be a game of big money versus independent, small businesses (which many longline operators are). Big businesses make huge profits off FAD fishing and the by-catch of juvenile tuna adds to that profitability. Money talks and small businesses walk…the plank.”
Regulations could have severe impact on the over 25 nations fishing for bigeye using longline vessels in this region. According to the WCPFC, in 2011 they caught a combined total of over 63,000 tons of this lucrative fish.
Tom Kraft and Scott Fraser will be speaking at the 10th International Seafood Summit in Hong Kong September 6-8th. The summit brings together global representatives from the seafood industry and conservation community for in-depth discussions, presentations and networking around the issues of sustainable seafood. This year’s theme of Evolving Solutions for New Horizons asks proposals to be forward thinking and outcome oriented to advance sustainability solutions. Norpac’s commitment is to be a part of the ever advancing progress within the global seafood market.
In May, we found out. A Buyer for Whole Foods sent us this feedback, “The tuna that went to the stores on Saturday looked fantastic – so much so that I took some home for dinner.” We are very proud of this.
For all you Ahi fans Amazon Fresh is currently carrying Hawaiian Select. The 10lb box of Bigeye Ahi Saku blocks comes in 1lb packages. This sashimi grade product is found in many of Seattle’s finer restaurants. Hawaiian Select frozen Bigeye Ahi tuna Saku blocks come from Norpac’s sustainable fishery where they individually track each fish product from the point of capture all the way through to Amazon Fresh with our industry leading barcode technology.
These Sashimi quality saku blocks are harvested within territorial waters, no high seas fishing, and are longline caught using only Best Practices. Bigeye tuna taste better as they contain up to 3 times more fish oil than Yellowfin Ahi tuna. This translates into tastier and healthier product. The FDA and the CDC advocate the heart healthy attributes of Omega 3 oils, which are abundant in Bigeye Ahi. Taste the quality of our fresh frozen Bigeye Ahi, while realizing the many health benefits. You will become a seafood lover too!
Norpac: Passionate about seafood, committed to excellence
Founded in 1987 in Honolulu Hawaii, Norpac has been passionate about providing the highest quality seafood to our customers for over 24 years.
Why isn’t all seafood quality the same?
Norpac starts at the source, with our own fishermen and boats out in the deep blue sea! Fish are captured and handled individually, much like a hand crafted wine. Utilizing Japanese fish handling techniques to ensure highest quality is preserved on board the vessels, where the first few hours after capture make all the difference.
We use the Norpac Traceability System to individually track each fish and the products we make from them, at the point of capture all the way through to our customers. We are fully accountable for every fish we capture, and all fish are subject to strict capture limits, best fishing practices and special gear modifications which prevent false capture of non targeted species, marine mammals, sea turtles and birds.
Our employees are seasoned professionals with decades of seafood handling experience and knowledge of our products. Our fish are frozen fresh once (never thawed and refrozen) to ensure quality right from the vessel. Each piece is individually vacuum sealed to preserve the pristine freshness and delicate flavor, so you can enjoy a truly extraordinary piece of fish. We cut every piece to exacting specifications, and we guarantee a consistently enjoyable experience in every steak or sashimi saku block from Norpac.