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Pole and Line Skipjack Fishery Applies for MEL Japan Certification

September 13, 2010

According to Marine Eco-Label Japan head office (MEL Japan), located within the Japan Fisheries Association (Daisui), 67 boats engaging in coastal pole and line skipjack fisheries have put in an application for MEL Japan certification.

The target of the certification is a group of adjacent pole and line skipjack fishing boats, made up of two boats from Shizuoka Prefecture, 11 from Mie Prefecture, 20 from Kochi Prefecture, and 34 from Miyazaki Prefecture, a total of 67 boats. Fishing grounds covered by these fisheries are the waters of Nansei Isalnds, Ogasawara Islands, western Kyushu, coastal Kishu/Boso, as well as eastern coastal Sanriku.

The coastal pole and line skipjack fisheries practice a fishing method that involves capturing a single fish with a rod and artificial baits, after chumming schools of bonito with live baits and water sprinkling. The fishing style is therefore believed to harness natural resources in a sustainable and efficient manner; a type of fishing easily certifiable by MEL Japan.

To date, MEL Japan has awarded chain of custody certification to the following fisheries: snow crab in Sakaiminato, stardust shrimp in Shizuoka Prefecture, common fresh water clam in Jusan Lake, Aomori, and sand eel in Aichi Prefecture. The organization is gradually extending the number of certified fisheries.

Far Seas Skipjack Fisheries Salted to Discuss MEL Japan Application on Sep 17

The Federation of Japan Skipjack and Tuna Fisheries Cooperatives said the Dee-Sea Pole and Line Skipjack Fisheries Council would discuss applying for MEL Japan certification and reach a consensus at the Sep 17 meeting.

The far seas skipjack fisheries conduct the same fishing procedure as their costal counterparts, considered therefore suitable for the certification.

In an attempt for wider recognition by society as sustainable and environmentally-friendly fisheries, both adjacent and high-sea pole and line skipjack fisheries have set their minds on MEL Japan certification one after the other.

Daisui Manager Nishimura, representing MEL Japan, said, "A wide array of fisheries are currently in preparation for the certification behind the scenes, evidencing a widening circle of certified fisheries. We intend to further energize our activities with an aim to get it identified as a certification system for Japan's fishermen."

The original article was published on September 13, 2010 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

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