The Hawaii Longline Association has achieved a globally recognized certification for sustainable fishing by the Marine Stewardship Council.

The MSC Fisheries Standard, which the council says is the world’s most recognized benchmark for sustainability, follows a 16-month certification process that assesses if a fishery is well-managed, with three core principles it has to meet: sustainable fish stocks, minimizing environmental impact and effective fisheries management.

The standard is based on the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s code of conduct for responsible fisheries.

The assessment covered the association’s deep-set tuna longline fishery and shallow-set swordfish longline fishery. HLA’s fleet consists of 142 vessels, and its annual landings are approximately $125 million, making the Honolulu commercial fishing port one of the most valuable in the nation.

The council on Monday announced that the HLA had met the core principles and achieved its fisheries standard.

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

The Hawaii longline fishery can be traced back to 1917, when it was established by Japanese immigrant fishers. Today, it produces about 95% of the country’s bigeye tuna landings and 50-60% of its swordfish and yellowfin tuna landings.

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