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First Free School Tuna Certified by Friend of the Sea, Dolphin-Safe

04 December 2012

PHILIPPINES - Friend of the Sea and Earth Island Institute's Dolphin-Safe programme have announced certification of the first tuna lot caught by deploying nets on free schools of tuna, not associated with Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) or dolphins.

The launch is part of effort by the two major NGOs to provide companies and consumers more transparency on the fishing gears used to catch the tuna.

Other fishing methods, such as pole and line or selective FADs initiatives can also be certified as part of the programme. The certification is open to all those companies which are approved Friend of the Sea and Dolphin Safe.

The company delivering the first lot of FREE SCHOOL tuna is Frabelle from Philippines, but other two have already applied to undergo audit. The audit is run by international certification bodies and based on official independent observers onboard.

"The objective of the certification" explains Paolo Bray, director of Friend of the Sea "is to allow companies and consumers to know the fishing method used to catch the tuna - not to discredit specific fishing methods."

"Purse seining and pole and line, whether on FADs or free schools, are among the most selective fishing methods as they target single species schools. Use of FADs can be fuel efficient but sometimes less selective on tuna juveniles. Pole and line itself catches immature yellowfin and bigeye. We hope that more transparency on the fishing method will lead fleets to improve their gears and management. We expect soon to be able to certify tuna lots from higher selectivity FADs."

TheFishSite News Desk

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