Following a global commitment to sustainable fishing practices, McDonald's Spain will be the first restaurant chain to include Pacifical skipjack tuna certified by the Marine Stewardship Council on its national menu. More than 490 restaurants will be offering MSC certified tuna in Tuna Mediterranean Salad by January 2016.
"At McDonald's we have a goal to source all of our food and packaging from sustainable sources. As part of this, since 2013 all the white fish we serve in our restaurants globally in our Filet-o-fish sandwiches is sourced from MSC certified fisheries. In Spain, we are very proud to announce that the skipjack tuna, which we serve as part of our salad range, is now also MSC certified," said Ignacio Blanco-Traba, senior director of sustainable sourcing at McDonald's Corporation.
Pacifical, the marketing and sales organization for the PNA MSC-certified tuna is supplying Frinsa del Noroeste, a European tuna processor located in Spain. The Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) control the world's largest sustainable tuna fishery. PNA Members, located within the Western Central Pacific Ocean, are Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. Approximately 50 percent of all skipjack tuna in the world is caught within the waters of the PNA nations, the release stated.
McDonald's MSC-certified skipjack tuna is being caught in the waters of PNA nations. The fish is cooked and cleaned in a local Pacific-based processing facility. The tuna is later transported to Spain, the largest fish-processing nation in Europe, to be packed and delivered to McDonald's.
"We congratulate McDonald's for highlighting the importance of sustainable catching methods and taking a leading step within the fast food industry," said Henk Brus, managing director of Pacifical. "Thanks to their commitment, millions of Spanish consumers will enjoy sustainably caught tuna and support the livelihoods of thousands of Pacific island families whose lives depend largely on tuna.”
Pacifical tuna is from nets set only on free swimming schools of adult skipjack tuna. Fishing on free schools reduces bycatch to the lowest level and ensures that the tuna caught is predominately of mature size, meaning that bycatch of unwanted species and juvenile tuna is largely eliminated, the release stated. Independent MSC-trained onboard observers monitor and record all fishing operations according to the strictest MSC chain of custody (COC) standards. COC ensures that the fish was caught in a sustainable way.
"In 2011 McDonald's became a game changer in the white fish sector, with the announcement to source exclusively from fisheries that have met the rigorous MSC standard for environmental sustainability. This new commitment by McDonald's Spain to introduce MSC certified tuna, is a strong positive signal for tuna fisheries that are working towards sustainability and recognition of the top performance of the PNA nations. I am delighted that millions of Iberian consumers will be able to enjoy McDonald's salads with one of their favorite fish species, knowing that they are making a responsible choice," said Laura Rodríguez Zugasti, program director of the Marine Stewardship Council in Spain and Portugal.