Certifier : 
Control Union (UK) Limited
Certified status : 
Certified
Certified since : 
09 Jun 2015
Certificate expires : 
11 Feb 2026

Overview

Fisheries are composed of one or more parts, each of which is entitled to receive an MSC certificate. These parts or “units” are defined by their target stock(s), fishing gear type(s) and if relevant vessel type(s), and the fishing fleets or groups of vessels.

When the term “Unit of Certification” is used for fishing units that are in assessment, it refers to the “Unit of Assessment” or “Unit of potential certification”. Expand a status below to view the parts that form this fishery. To check the detailed scope, download the latest certificate or open the Assessments page to get the latest report. Find out more by visiting our page on Fisheries

Units of Certification & Certificate Information

  • Certified
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Certificate Code
    UoC-1033 Albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) Hooks And Lines - Longlines 77 (Pacific, Eastern Central), 81 (Pacific, Southwest) MSC-F-30001
    UoC-2278 Bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) Hooks And Lines - Longlines: Pelagic longline 77 (Pacific, Eastern Central), 81 (Pacific, Southwest) MSC-F-30001
    UoC-1371 Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) Hooks And Lines - Longlines 77 (Pacific, Eastern Central), 81 (Pacific, Southwest) MSC-F-30001
  • No longer in the program
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Status (Units of Certification) Certificate Code
    UoC-1972 Albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) Hooks And Lines - Longlines 77 (Pacific, Eastern Central), 81 (Pacific, Southwest) Withdrawn MSC-F-30001
    UoC-1974 Albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) Hooks And Lines - Longlines 77 (Pacific, Eastern Central), 81 (Pacific, Southwest) Withdrawn MSC-F-30001
    UoC-1975 Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) Hooks And Lines - Longlines 77 (Pacific, Eastern Central), 81 (Pacific, Southwest) Withdrawn MSC-F-30001
    UoC-1973 Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) Hooks And Lines - Longlines 77 (Pacific, Eastern Central), 81 (Pacific, Southwest) Withdrawn MSC-F-30001

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) 2021 354
Bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) 2021 75
Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) 2021 325

Information is provided by an independent Conformity Assessment Body as live weight (the weight of species at the time of catch, before processing) and where a fishing season covers multiple years, the end year is given as the reported catch year. Additional information is available in the latest report, see the assessments page.

About this Fishery

Albacore is a highly migratory tuna found in oceans around the world. It matures relatively early, at around six years, and has a moderate lifespan of about 10-12 years. It also produces many eggs at a time – some 2.6 million at each spawning.

As a highly migratory species, albacore are targeted by fishing fleets from several nations. However, information from all fisheries catching albacore tuna is available, which reduces the risk of overfishing.

The Cook Islands, which lie between Hawaii and New Zealand in the South Pacific, have a population of about 20,000 people. Fish and seafood products are one of their largest export commodities.

The certified fishery is operated primarily by Chinese vessels, using longlines to catch tuna. To maintain MSC certification, it has committed to make a number of improvements. These include implementing harvest control strategies that ensure healthy stock levels are maintained and fish stocks are well managed.

Albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) illustration © Scandinavian Fishing Year Book

Market Information

All the catch is processed on board and then quick-frozen, primarily for canning. Most of the catch is delivered to ports outside the Cook Islands (predominantly Pago Pago in American Samoa, as well as Suva in Fiji, and the Solomon Islands).