Western Central Pacific Ocean Parties of the Nauru Agreement

 

To whom it may concern,

Through this letter Coles Supermarkets Australia would like to publically express our strong interest in buying Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified skipjack tuna for our customers.

Coles is one of the fastest growing food retailers in the world. We operate more than 740 supermarkets across all States and Territories of Australia. We sell an extensive range of seafood products in our stores including over 40 lines of canned skipjack tuna products that are sourced from the Western Central Pacific Ocean.

Our customers tell us that the health of our oceans is important to them and that responsible and sustainable sourcing is key to reinforcing the quality of the seafood we sell. We believe this provides a great opportunity for all participants in the seafood industry to fulfil this growing demand sustainably.

In response to customer demand, Coles partnered in March 2011 with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Australia) and have committed to only selling sustainably harvested seafood by 2015. Independent third party standards and accompanying eco-labelling schemes, such as MSC, are the most effective means for retailers and manufacturers to convey to our customers that the seafood they purchase is sustainably sourced. We presently sell two lines of MSC white albacore tuna caught in the South West Pacific Ocean off New Zealand and are keen to extend our MSC canned fish offer, as canned tuna is our biggest selling seafood item.

We were excited by the announcement in January 2012 that the potential now existed to buy MSC certified Skipjack from the PNA free school purse seine skipjack fishery. We are impressed with the PNA MSC certification and disheartened that, as yet, no MSC certified skipjack tuna is available for us to purchase. We urge fishermen, processors and canners handling PNA skipjack tuna to commence fishing in accordance with the MSC chain of custody program to meet our supply demands.

In summary, Coles has a procurement preference for fish harvested from sustainable fisheries such as MSC eco-label fisheries that enables us to fulfil consumer demand in a manner that ensures a sustainable industry into the future.

Should you wish to further discuss this matter please contact Neil McSkimming on 03 9829 5222 or via email neil.mcskimming(5)coles.com.au.

 

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