Fishing, Processing & Distribution Companies

Marine Stewardship Council certification of the Mexican tuna purse seine industry

Navigating a complex certification process

The Mexican tuna industry operates in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, catching mostly large yellowfin tuna associated with dolphins. Since marine mammals are carefully watched by the international NGO community, this fishery is one of the most scrutinized tuna fisheries in the world. The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) has the most complete scientific data of any tuna fishery, and observer coverage of the fishing activities is extensive and well documented. To demonstrate the sustainability of its operations, the Mexican vertically integrated tuna purse seine industry sought to qualify for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification. After a complex and thorough assessment, the fishery was certified by the MSC, enabling the Mexican tuna industry to demonstrate to the world that its fishing operations meet the standard for a sustainable, well managed fishery. Gomez-Hall Associates was instrumental in ensuring that the fishery provided all the necessary data for the assessment in an effective and transparent way and could provide answers to a diverse group of stakeholders who questioned the ability of the fishery to meet the MSC standard. 

Gomez-Hall Associates brought together four competing, vertically oriented companies with common interests into an Alliance of tuna producers to seek MSC certification and ensure the efficient, transparent, and expedited flow of information and coordination among the members of the Alliance, the certification body conducting the assessment, and all the stakeholders in the fishery, providing the space for all voices to emerge.  By strategizing innovative approaches and working with various players to make changes to fishing practices and points of view for the benefit of the fishery, Gomez-Hall Associates facilitated the successful conclusion of the fishery certification process.

"Guillermo contributed enormously to our interaction with key actors and to successfully obtaining MSC certification for our fishery."
Mariana Ramos
Executive Director, Pacific Alliance for Sustainable Tuna

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