Tri Marine announces draft report for MSC certification of its American Samoa fleet

Certification covering US flag purse seiners is expected to be approved by MSC following public comment period


BELLEVUE, WASH. - Dec. 14, 2015 - Today, Tri Marine announced that its Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) assessment process of the American Samoa free school purse seine skipjack and yellowfin tuna fishery is nearing completion.

Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) posted their draft certification report on MSC’s website where it is available for public comment.  This follows over 12 months of assessment work by SCS, which included a full evaluation of the American Samoa tuna purse seine fishery against the MSC principles and criteria for sustainable fishing. 

“If successfully certified to the MSC standard this demonstrates that skipjack and yellowfin from the Western and Central Pacific are sustainable when harvested by purse seiners on free schools unassociated with Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs),” said Matt Owens, Director of Environmental Policy and Social Responsibility for Tri Marine. “It is an important achievement that follows in the footsteps of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) MSC certification.“

The Tri Marine certification will complement that of the PNA by covering US flagged vessels even when they are fishing outside of PNA zones in the Western and Central Pacific.  

“This certification is supplemental to PNAO’s,” said Joe Hamby, Tri Marine’s Chief Operating Officer.  “We have been working quite closely with PNAO in marketing their MSC certified free school skipjack.  We just need more MSC certified fish.  Certifying the fish that the boats are catching in the high seas will increase the supply.”

Tri Marine contracted for the certification last January in response to demand from their customers, especially in North America, for MSC certified shelf-stable products.  MSC certification is recognized by the market, seafood industry, and environmental community as one of the most credible sustainability certifications available for seafood.  

Following the public comment period, SCS will address responses received.  They will then determine whether or not the fishery should be certified and publish their final report.  Tri Marine expects final certification by March 2016.

“MSC is encouraged by companies like Tri Marine who share the important value of sustainability and transparency by putting themselves under the microscope of the MSC assessment process,” explained Bill Holden, Senior Fisheries Manager – Oceania & SE Asia at MSC. “Tri Marine’s commitment to the environment is clear when it undergoes the world’s most rigorous standard for sustainability.”


Background ON Tri Marine

Tri Marine is a recognized leader in fishing, processing and distributing high-quality tuna products to the world’s markets.  The company focuses on quality, sustainability, innovation and customer satisfaction. As a socially responsible operator, Tri Marine has chosen to invest in the communities closest to fishery resources.  Together with its workforce of over 5,000 employees, Tri Marine is committed to all of its customers, suppliers and stakeholders for the long term. For more information, visit