Senior Tuna Fisheries Outreach Manager | MSC
Bill Holden is the Senior Tuna Fisheries Outreach Manager for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), a global fisheries certification and ecolabel program. He began working with the MSC in February 2009 and is based in the Sydney Australia office. He is involved with developing policies and strategies for the MSC relating to global tuna fisheries as well as tuna fisheries outreach in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Holden has a wealth of experience in fisheries management with more than 20 years as an owner, operator, and skipper of snapper and tuna longliners in the Kingdom of Tonga. For much of that time, he was the President of the Fishing Industry Association of Tonga (FIAT) and a director of the Pacific Islands Tuna Industry Association (PITIA).
As well as his vast industry experience and knowledge of fishing and marketing operations, Holden’s work in associations provides him with an understanding of regional management and he maintains an extensive Pacific network of colleagues, associates, and friends.
Holden grew up in San Diego, California where he began commercial fishing while attending Point Loma High School. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1984 with a BA in Political Science and Communications.
The Marine Stewardship Council is an independent third-party environmental standard whose objective is to safeguard seafood supplies for this and future generations. We seek to contribute to the health of the world’s oceans by recognizing and rewarding sustainable fishing practices, influencing the choices people make when buying seafood, and working with our partners to transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis.
Globally, almost 1.5 million tonnes of tuna are either certified or in assessment in the MSC program. These fisheries harvest skipjack, yellowfin, bigeye, and albacore from 10 out of the 23 global tuna stocks representing over 30 percent of wild-caught tuna.
Every year the volume and number of tuna products sold with the MSC blue fish label is increasing dramatically. The MSC label adds value to the marketing of tuna as consumers reward the sustainability efforts of these fisheries. However, more needs to be done especially with management improvements at tuna RFMOs to ensure global tuna health improves and remains sustainable.
The involvement of stakeholders from industry, scientists, fisheries managers, and NGOs is important to ensure assessments of tuna fisheries to the MSC Standard are robust and transparent. The MSC has made changes to improve stakeholder input during the Fisheries Certification Process. We have also made following fisheries on our website easier so stakeholders can stay informed of progress.