A global nonprofit organization that aims to curb overfishing by certifying groups that catch seafood sustainably has given Hawaii’s local longline fleet its seal of approval.

The Marine Stewardship Council announced Monday that it certified the Hawaii Longline Association for sustainable fishing practices in catching swordfish, bigeye and yellowfin tuna.

According to the MSC, “sustainable fishing” includes several criteria: It means leaving enough fish in the ocean to replenish the population, fishing in a way that respects other species and marine habitats, and managing the fishery in a way that can adapt to changing environmental circumstances and ensure people who depend on fishing can maintain their livelihoods, according to the nonprofit’s website.

The local longline fleet’s certification followed a 16-month review by a separate group that specializes in such sustainability-related certifications, Control Union UK Limited.

“HLA is proud to receive the certification as it is recognition of the fleet’s stringent management and monitoring regime,” HLA Executive Director Eric Kingma said in a statement posted to the MSC’s website. “We believe our fleet produces the best quality and highest level of monitored tuna in the world.”

The fleet of more than 140 vessels produces an annual catch valued at more than $100 million.

With the new certification, the fleet’s seafood can be sold with a special MSC label that indicates it was caught using sustainable methods.

Something to consider...

Civil Beat is a small, independent newsroom that provides free content with no paywall. That means readership growth alone can’t sustain our journalism.

The truth is that less than 2% of our monthly readers are financial supporters. To remain a viable business model for local news, we need a higher percentage of readers-turned-donors.

Will you consider making a tax-deductible gift today?

About the Author