The Global Fresh and Frozen Tuna Supply Chain Roundtable (SR) is an expansion of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean Longline Tuna SR. In October 2018, the SR was merged with the Indonesian Tuna and Large Pelagics SR, because of the overlap in participants and the primary interest in Indonesia as the world’s largest producer of tuna. In November 2018, the tuna component of the Eastern Pacific Ocean Large Pelagics SR moved to the Global Fresh and Frozen Tuna SR (the EPO SR is now the Global Mahi SR). The roundtable has an emphasis on high-quality, line-caught yellowfin and bigeye tuna that enters the market as fresh or frozen product.
The roundtable serves as a forum for companies that are involved in the supply of fresh or frozen yellowfin and bigeye tuna and wish to actively support improvements in fishery management through fishery improvement projects (FIPs). FIPs can address particular improvement needs for specific fleets, as well as potential developments in the policies of coastal states.
Improvement efforts may include the promotion of best practices for data acquisition, observer coverage, transshipments, bycatch reduction, elimination of illegal fishing, and promotion of best practices regarding labor rights policies of coastal states. FIPs can also seek to promote changes in policy (e.g., the introduction of harvest control rules) at the regional level through the relevant regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs).
SFP also provides responsible procurement specifications for tuna buyers and encourages roundtable participants to adopt these guidelines.
If you would like more information about the roundtable or wish to support it, please contact SFP.
The T75 sector report for fresh and frozen tuna details the state of the sector. Based on 2014 production data, 73,000 tonnes, or 15 percent of the global production, are currently considered sustainable or improving, using publicly available information on MSC status and FIP progress ratings reviewed in early October 2017.
There is room for improvement, especially in three countries: Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Japan. An additional 19.5 percent of global production could shift to the improving category if national-level FIPs in Indonesia and Sri Lanka can be fully launched through existing supply engagement. In addition, new supply chain engagement in Japan will be required to close the gap to T75 by supporting or starting national fleet FIPs in Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and China.
Fisheries Covered by the Roundtable:
The roundtable primarily focuses on all fisheries for yellowfin and bigeye tuna entering the fresh/frozen market. These are typically longline or handline fisheries.
Existing fresh/frozen tuna FIPs include:
Western Pacific Ocean
Eastern Pacific Ocean
The roundtable is currently inviting suitable companies, especially Japanese buyers, to participate in this SR.
Culinary Collaborations LLC
Improvement Needs and Recommendations:
Listed below are the improvement needs required in fisheries management in both the Indian and Pacific Oceans if we are to meet our shared goal of sustainable tuna fisheries, along with our recommendations, and actions, for achieving them.
Recommendations and Actions
Harvest control rules (HCRs) need to be formally adopted for yellowfin tuna (YFT) and bigeye tuna (BET) stocks by all of the regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs).
Influence the RFMOs, through their members and cooperating non-members, to implement target and limit reference points and effective HCRs for all YFT and BET target stocks as a matter of urgency.
Target and limit reference points need to be formally adopted and implemented for all YFT and BET stocks managed by the RFMOs as well as principal bycatch species.
Influence the RFMOs, through their members and cooperating non-members, to implement target and limit reference points for all YFT and BET target stocks and principal by-catch species as a matter of urgency.
Compliance with all national and RFMO conservation and management measures must be improved and/or better documented publicly.
Request your suppliers to provide evidence of a) compliance with conservation and management measures to their country government and b) their government submission of compliance reports to each RFMO in a timely manner.
Collection of fisheries data (e.g., catch and effort) must be improved and data should be provided regularly to national and RFMO administrations.
Request improved data collection (i.e., electronic logbooks) and data reporting to ensure complete and accurate datasets (e.g., catch and effort) and timely delivery to the national and RFMO databases.
Longline tuna fisheries must reduce bycatch and/or bycatch mortality to levels consistent with global best practice (e.g., of sharks and rays, sea turtles, sea birds, and other vulnerable species).
Request your suppliers to reduce bycatch and/or bycatch mortality through increased implementation of best practice measures (e.g., nylon leaders, circle hooks, bird scaring lines) and monitoring with observers or electronic monitoring.
SFP has a webinar explaining how the supply chain can successfully implement these measures.
Require your suppliers to adopt a “fins naturally attached” rule for sharks in order to discourage shark finning and the associated misreporting of shark bycatch.
Better monitoring and enforcement is needed to reduce illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Request your suppliers follow best practices during transshipment at sea in order to help reduce opportunities for IUU fishing
Above all, request your supply chain to start a fishery improvement project (FIP). For advice on starting a FIP see SFP's Guide to FIPs.
The Global Fresh and Frozen Tuna Supply Chain Roundtable is dedicated to the improvement of fisheries that supply line-caught YFT and BET to the fresh and frozen markets and will adopt a number of different approaches to promoting effective regulatory policies and best practices, including:
1. Identification of relevant tuna fisheries important to SR participants
2. Initiation and implementation of new FIPs
3. Engagement with IOTC and WCPFC delegations to positively impact decision making with respect to tuna fishery sustainability
4. Ensuring SR participants are informed on developments in tuna sustainability, including other NGO work and new and existing pan-industry bodies
5. Development of an Indonesian Longline Tuna FIP webpage.
Find further information on past activity here.
Indonesia National Tuna FIP
Under Target 75 we are seeking to achieve 75% of global production of key seafood sectors (including both shelf-stable and fresh/frozen tuna sectors) to be either improving (i.e. in a credible FIP making adequate progress) or sustainable (i.e. MSC certified). Accordingly, there are two tactical ‘successes’ based on T75:
- We increase the number of FIPs
- We increase the volume of product in FIPs
Strategically, our T75 analyses of tuna recommend that we move away from fishery-by-fishery FIP initiation and instead focus on larger scale (or regional) FIPs that offer economies of scale.
Indonesia is considered the world’s largest producer of tuna and has the most abundant tuna fisheries in the world. Unsurprisingly, therefore, our T75 tuna analysis recommends a large-scale FIP in Indonesia’s EEZ as an important route for achieving T75 in fresh and frozen tuna.
Several initiatives are already underway, or planned, with the goal of improving the sustainability of Indonesia’s tuna fisheries. To avoid the risk of overwhelming the local industry and government with yet another initiative, it is imperative that any strategy is sensitive to this possibility and aims to collaborate and/or build upon existing efforts.
As such, several organizations funded by the Walton Family Foundation to work on Indonesian tuna are collaborating through a coordination platform, facilitated by Marine Change, that meets two-to-three times a year. The membership includes Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), the International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF), the Indonesia Pole & Line and Handline Association (AP2HI), Masyarakat Dan Perikanan Indonesia (MDPI), WWF Indonesia, Hatfield Indonesia, and The Nature Conservancy (TNC).
The platform has been effective in providing clarity on work areas and has enabled the members to avoid duplication.
In addition, a major element of the coordination platform will be to collate the improvement needs for all Indonesian tuna FIPs through a National Tuna Fisheries Action Plan and work synergistically to address cross-cutting needs, including policy changes.
SFP’s Indonesian Longline Tuna FIP
Following discussions with the coordination platform, SFP’s contribution to improving Indonesian tuna fisheries will include initiating large-scale longline tuna FIP(s).
This will be achieved by using results from the Indonesia tuna MSC pre-assessment conducted by WWF Indonesia to identify fisheries from the units of assessments and engage with the fishers/fleet owners to explain the opportunities for fisheries improvement and potential market access/market security.
SFP will support the initiation of each prospective longline tuna FIP in the project either directly, or through coordinating the industry funding of a technical advisor, and support the transition of prospective longline tuna FIP(s) into implementation by driving market pressure and working through the coordination platform to realize necessary policy changes.
Furthermore, we will keep SFP’s fresh and frozen tuna market partners informed of developments with the FIP(s) via our Fresh & Frozen Tuna Supply Chain Roundtable, in order to drive improvements by Indonesian suppliers.
Will there be one overarching tuna FIP?
We envisage that there will be fishery-specific FIP workplans to emerge from the program that will contain unique improvement needs and also some common improvement needs; likely P1 and P3 elements.
Through the coordination platform, we will work with existing and prospective FIPs from NGO colleagues as we expect many MSC principle 1 and 3 (P1 and P3) improvement needs in these FIPs will be the same also.
The figure below tries to demonstrate this visually.
For updates on SFP’s work on the National Indonesian Longline Tuna FIP project click here.
How to get Involved
Action: Include FIPs in your procurement policy
Justification: If purchasing seafood that is not sustainable, source from operators that are working proactively to improve the health, environmental and social performance of fisheries or farms, and can demonstrate significant progress in fixing problems by meeting clear milestones and deadlines for improvement.
How to Complete: Source from FIPs that meet the Conservation Alliance guidelines for basic or comprehensive FIPs. Require that FIPs you source from meet at minimum the criteria for basic FIPs, be listed on the Fishery Progress tracking website, and demonstrate adequate progress (i.e. A-C rated).
Action: Make a public commitment supporting the Indonesian Longline Tuna FIP.
Justification: Creating a public company commitment to supporting the Indonesian Longline Tuna FIP shows an important commitment to action and provides essential encouragement to Indonesian fisheries to participate and to the Indonesian Government to continue making improvement to fisheries management.
How to Complete: Outline activities your company will undertake to support the National Indonesian longline Tuna FIP.
Action: Make your support public (e.g., posted on your website or in your place of business).
Justification: Send a letter of support (to us in the first instance)
How to Complete: A letter provides tangible evidence of your support for the National Indonesian longline Tuna FIP.
The following text can be used in a letter:
This letter is to express the Support of [your company] for the SFP initiative to create a new National longline Tuna FIP in Indonesia.
We are interesting in sourcing [more] longline-caught tuna from Indonesia and the realization of this initiative will influence our purchasing.
We encourage all stakeholders to fully engage to ensure the initiative is successful.
Action: Contribute financially/in-kind
Justification: SFP has secured funding for the majority of the pre-FIP work but there may be a requirement for financial support for development of a FIP workplan(s)
How to Complete: Formally express interest to SFP in participating in the initiative.
Action: Review your sourcing – consider buying from the fisheries participating in the National Indonesian Tuna FIP.
Justification: Companies that buy and sell seafood can make a significant difference by changing buying practices and communicating expectations to suppliers. Support improving tuna fisheries within the initiative through purchasing decisions.
How to Complete: Discuss potential sourcing with companies participating in the National Indonesian longline Tuna FIP.
Action: Recommend your suppliers engage in the National Indonesian longline Tuna FIP.
Justification: Companies that buy and sell Indonesian tuna can make a significant difference by changing buying practices and communicating expectations to vendors.
How to Complete: Encourage Indonesian fisheries to engage with SFP at an early stage to ensure they are included within the mapping exercise.
This work is funded in part by the Walmart Foundation.
Quarterly Global Fresh and Frozen Tuna SR Update – January to March 2019
This briefing provides an update on progress, activities, and news in the areas of interest to the SR. It also indicates any actions and further support needed. A full summary of past progress, including details from past quarterly updates, can be found here.
1. Target 75 Priority Fisheries
Update: The 2019 Global Fresh and Frozen Tuna SR meeting took place in March during the Boston Seafood Expo (meeting notes, presentation). Participants agreed on actions for RFMO engagement, reducing longline bycatch, and supporting FIPs. Three Indonesian longline producers (PT. Intimas Surya, Bali Seafood International and PT Kelola Mina Laut) attended and supported the implementation of the longline FIP.
A “mini” SR meeting focused on the National Indonesian Longline Tuna FIP took place in March during the Boston Seafood Expo (meeting notes, presentation). Attendees were briefed on the improvement needs and recommended actions. Three SR participants (Anova, True World Foods, and The Fishin’ Co.) attended. Seven companies in Indonesia have now expressed an interest in participating in the FIP. An additional SR participant (Direct Ocean) signed on to the expression of interest letter for the Indonesian Tuna FIP, bringing the total to 11.
Further support needed:
SR participants to:
• Make a public commitment of support for the National Indonesian Tuna FIP
• Send a letter of support (to us in the first instance)
• Contribute financially/in-kind
• Review their sourcing – consider buying from the participating fisheries
• Recommend that their suppliers engage in the National Indonesian Tuna FIP.
2. Support to established FIPs and improvement efforts
Please find an overview of all existing FIPs and improvement efforts, their current progress rating, and status here.
Update: During the Boston Seafood Expo, the 2018 Q4 FIP progress report was presented to the FF Tuna SR (slide 19 of the presentation). The 2019 Q1 report will be circulated to the SR participants and linked here.
Further support needed:
SR participants to:
– Check FIP ratings using Fishery Progress
– Review quarterly FIP progress reports
– Remind FIP implementers to report publicly in a timely manner.
3. Support for mitigation of overarching fishery/FIP sustainability issues
SR participants and retail partners engage with RFMO delegates and heads of state to call for comprehensive harvest strategies in the Indian and Western Central Pacific Oceans.
Update: The Global NGO Tuna Forum has coordinated an IOTC campaign seeking the rebuilding and management of Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna. We have produced the following resources for market actors to use to engage with IOTC delegates:
- Overview of the campaign
- Background on RFMOs
- Background on harvest strategies
- Template text for letters, talking points, etc.
- IOTC delegate details.
Robin Teets presented the NGO Tuna Forum RFMO engagement strategy to the SR meeting in Boston (slides 106-120 of thepresentation) and Daniel Sudabby presented the specific IOTC campaign (slides 121-128).
The SFP team has held several meetings with retail partners, including Co-op, Tesco, and Walmart. At each meeting we presented the IOTC engagement strategy and sought commitment to engage with RFMOs.
Further support needed: SR to attend webinar on IOTC engagement strategy. SR to participate in IOTC engagement and record activities.
SR participants and retail partners utilize the longline bycatch mitigation best practice guide.
Update: Tom & Alexia submitted the full application for a second pilot to the Disney Conservation Fund.
Teddy introduced Alexia & Tom to the Transmarine longline Tuna FIP coordinator Guillermo Moran, who has since spoken with Alexia regarding a possible pilot. Talks are progressing.
At the FF Tuna SR meeting, the CEO of Hookpod presented what hookpod is, and how it can be used to reduce longline bycatch. It was noted that bycatch reduction of seabirds exceeds 95 percent and initial studies have shown a reduction in turtle bycatch of around 50 percent. Hookpod noted that the proposed SFP pilot study on reducing bycatch in longline fisheries would be a perfect match for a fishery to adopt Hookpod use and demonstrate its effectiveness. Hookpod would be very happy to work with companies and fisheries to trial devices on a small scale prior to making vessel-wide changes.
Further support needed: At least one SR participant confers with Hookpod on a pilot. SR participants to employ the requirements of the bycatch guide in sourcing guidelines.
SR participants and their customers publicly support national policy improvements in Indonesia as related to national tuna management and captured in the FIP work plan(s).
Demonstrate scale of lobbying to positively impact IOTC, IATTC, and WCPFC decision making with respect to sustainability.
Analysis of 2018 RFMO engagement efforts was presented at the FF Tuna SR meeting (see slides 30-51 of thepresentation). In addition, Steve Fisher from Sea Delight and Helen Packer from Anova presented on their experiences attending WCPFC (via SFP).
Tom worked with the NGO Tuna Forum RFMO engagement working group and developed resources for IOTC engagement (see above).
The FF Tuna SR meeting also presented the 2019 RFMO engagement asks, including the 2019 sign-on letter (11 SR participants and three partners have already agreed to sign on) and the specific IOTC ask (covered further in G7).
4. Expansion of the SR
Update: Three new companies have joined the FF Tuna SR in Q1: Royal Hawaiian Seafoods, Quirch Foods, and Luen Thai Fishing Venture.
Further support needed: Promote the SR to fellow industry and invite participation; share your supply chain knowledge re: tuna buyers from Japan, Italy, or Spain with SFP.