Fishing company Sealord has signed an international environment pledge aimed to drastically reduce bycatch by 2015.
Sealord was the first New Zealand company to sign the World Wildlife Federation's (WWF) western central Pacific tuna conservation pledge, which focussed on ensuring tuna fishing was well managed.
"WWF welcomes Sealord's decision to sign the...(pledge) and their support for targeted conservation measures that reduce bycatch in their supply chain," WWF's western central Pacific tuna programme officer Alfred Cook said.
Sealord general manager Stu Yorston said the company wanted to back up the signing of the WWF tuna pledge with a measurable target.
"Sealord's aim is to see non-tuna bycatch reduced to no more than 1 per cent of total catch by 2015," he said.
The company planned to buy tuna only from the best performing fishermen in the Western Central Pacific, based on catch data from each trip.
While this information was not yet available, data collection was improving continuously and Sealord would make use of tools including the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation Proactive Vessel Register to track an individual vessel's fishing practices," Mr Yorston said.