Anova Food Announces the First Handline Tuna Fishery in Indonesia to Enter into Full Assessment by the Marine Stewardship Council

SAN DIEGO — Anova Food, LLC., North America’s leading sushi-quality tuna company, today announced it will enter into a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) full assessment for its premier Fair Trade fishery in North Buru Island, making it the first handline tuna fishery to do so in Indonesia. Anova worked closely with its processing partner, Harta Samudra, local NGO, Masyarakat Dan Perikanan Indonesia (MDPI), and the North Buru Fair Trade Committee to compile documentation for the rigorous MSC assessment, with a site visit scheduled for late March where the Compliance Assessment Body (CAB) will meet with government representatives and other stakeholders.

“Years of data collection and sustainable fishery practices by Fair Trade fishermen have set the stage for fulfilling the rigorous demands of MSC certification for this handline fishery and we couldn’t be more thrilled,” says Blane Olson, managing director of Anova Technical Services. “Anova first launched the Fair Trade Capture Fishery in North Buru Island five years ago and while it’s successfully been Fair Trade certified, we’ve had our sights set on MSC certification as it’s extremely important for us and our supply chains to reach the highest available standards.”

Since the first Fair Trade certification in 2015, Anova has continued to expand the program throughout its Indonesian supply chains. In 2018, the volume of Fair Trade tuna shipped to the U.S. market increased by 75 percent, returning more than $100,000 in Fair Trade premiums back to fishing communities. The fishery in North Buru Island has been part of a fishery improvement project (FIP) since 2011, in which Anova took a proactive role by supporting the implementation of rigorous port sampling and data collection programs that met international standards for scientific fisheries data requirements.

“At MMAF, we are proud and excited to see the first Indonesian handline tuna fishery enter an MSC full assessment,” says Pak Zulficar Mochtar, Director General of Capture Fisheries. “This assessment sets a precedent not only for Indonesia, but also for small-scale fisheries around the world for which the MSC standard is most challenging to achieve. This has been made possible thanks to the hard work and commitment in the past few years of all parties involved.”

The Fisheries Standard set by MSC is a rigorous assessment that is founded on three principles, including sustainability of fish stocks, environmental impacts and effective fisheries management. Through the certification, wild-capture fisheries are recognized for setting the benchmark for sustainability, continuing to ensure resources and livelihoods for future generations. If the full assessment is successful, the North Buru Island handline tuna fishery will join a collective of more than 300 engaged fisheries that supply the world with more than 25,000 seafood products.

“We congratulate and support Anova Food USA and the North Buru handline yellowfin tuna fishery as it takes this significant step to enter full MSC assessment,” says Martin Purves, Managing Director of the International Pole and Line Foundation (IPLNF). “As the first handline tuna fishery to enter this process in the region, this moment highlights the growing momentum behind Indonesia’s one-by-one fisheries sector and the drive to demonstrate the value that a well-managed fishery can bring, benefiting the fishers and coastal communities involved.”

One of the key elements of Fair Trade and MSC certifications is the implementation of a traceability system rigorous enough to trace the fish back to the small-scale fishing vessel that caught it, and more importantly, ensure that no substitution of non-certified product occurs. The traceability system created for Anova by MDPI, ‘Trace Tales,’ tracks each fish back to the individual fisherman and point of landing, tracing a catch’s journey through the entire supply chain.

“It is extremely difficult to meet the MSC standard for a small-scale fishery, composed of thousands of independent one-manned vessels that operate on remote islands,” says Saut Tampubolon, Interim Executive Director of MDPI. “The Fair Trade Committee (FTC) and Fair Trade Associations, which have been in place in North Buru for five years, give an organized structure for the MSC Unit of Assessment. This major advantage of utilizing an existing FTC makes MSC potentially possible.”

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About Anova Food

Anova Food, LLC, is a leading sushi quality tuna company in America. Due to its focus on quality and sustainability, Anova is the preferred brand for many restaurant chains, food retailers, distributors, and value added processors.

Anova Food, LLC has been a leader with their corporate commitment to social and environmental responsibility to ensure a healthy supply of fish for future generations. Its ‘Fishing and Living’ program promotes sustainable fisheries and enhanced conditions for fishing communities. Anova is engaged in active and credible fishery improvement projects (FIPs) with the ultimate goal of achieving MSC certification for its key tuna supply fisheries. For more information, visit