The Global Fresh and Frozen Yellowfin and Bigeye 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 Pelagic SR because of the overlap in participants and the primary interest in Indonesian as world largest producer of tuna. 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. 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 fishery management organizations (RFMOs).
Improvement efforts may include the promotion of best practices for data acquisition, observer coverage, transshipments, bycatch reduction, and the elimination of illegal fishing. FIPs may also promote best practices regarding labor rights. olicies 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 fishery management organizations (RFMOs).
This roundtable works closely with the Eastern Pacific Ocean Large Pelagics SR; particularly on RFMO advocacy.
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 — 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. Also, 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 Yellowfin and Bigeye 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. Identifying 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. There is a risk of over-whelming the local industry, and government with another initiative so it is imperative that any strategy is sensitive to this and aims to collaborate and/or build upon existing efforts.
To achieve this, the organisations funded by the Walton Family Foundation on Indonesian tuna are working collaboratively through a coordination platform, facilitated by Marine Change, which meets 2-3 times a year. The membership includes SFP (Sustainable Fisheries Partnership), IPNLF (International Pole and Line Foundation), AP2HI (Indonesia Pole & Line and Handline Association), MDPI (Masyarakat Dan Perikanan Indonesia), WWF Indonesia, Hatfield Indonesia, and TNC (The Nature Conservancy).
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 through 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 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 – July to September 2018
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.
1. Target 75 Priority Fisheries
National Indonesia Tuna:
Update:SFP is in the process of mapping and identifying priority tuna fisheries in Indonesia outside existing FIPs. The final MSC Pre-Assessments of the Indonesia tuna longline fishery operating in WCPFC, IOTC, and archipelagic and territorial waters were completed and shared with SFP. The assessments contain six units of assessment:
• Indian Ocean Bigeye
• Indian Ocean Albacore
• Indian Ocean Yellowfin
• Indian Ocean Swordfish
• WCPO Yellowfin
• WCPO Bigeye
Further support needed:
SR participants to:
• Make a public commitment supporting 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 their suppliers engage in the National Indonesian Tuna FIP
National Sri Lanka Tuna:
Update: FIP rating has been shared with participants via the quarterly FIP update;Sri Lanka Tuna and Swordfish Longline FIP has been published in April 2018 on fisheryprogress.org here.
Further support needed:
Support the FIP in progressing against its work plan and by buying their product.
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: Quarterly FIP progress update has been produced and distributed by SFP to SR participants.
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 mitigation of fishery/FIP overarching sustainability issues
SR participants and retail partners engage with RFMO delegates and heads of state to call for comprehensive harvest strategies in the Indian & Western Central Pacific Oceans
Update: Rather than develop individual RFMO advocacy resources, the Global NGO Tuna Forum members agreed to develop a joint letter setting out the priority asks agreed by the Forum. SFP fed into this through correspondence and the in-person meeting in Washington, DC, in April. The subsequent letter included:harvest strategies, FAD management, increased observer coverage, and greater focus on implementation of bycatch mitigation actions broadly, with an emphasis on longline fisheries.
The Global NGO Tuna Forum letter was shared with the FF Tuna SR (repeatedly) and SFP partners.
By the deadline for sending off to the IOTC, 22 FF Tuna SR participants and 11 SFP partners had signed on.
A total of 118 signatories signed on to the letter, which was also published in the trade press here:
Since the IOTC deadline, a further 10 companies signed on to the RFMO engagement letter, including Walmart, Publix, Costco, and Target. UK Co-op have also agreed in principle.
The SR participants who had not yet signed on to the NGO Tuna Forum RFMO engagement letter were chased up, and a further signature was obtained (Lotus Seafoods), bringing the total to 82% participation.
The letter has been sent to the IATTC in advance of the meeting in August.
The August SR newsletter contained updates on the WCPFC tropical tuna bridging measure, as well as an update on the outcomes from the Scientific Meeting (held in August).
An overview of IOTC meeting outcomes was circulated to the FF Tuna SR via the bimonthly newsletter.
The results of the IOTC meetings show progress in a few areas, and much work to do in others.
It is impossible to quantify the impact the NGO Tuna Forum letter has had on the decision-making progress within the IOTC, but progress was made in a number of the areas the letter highlighted.
• FADs – Adopted a proposal for a bioFAD experiment – a measure that directly addresses one of our requested actions; adopted a proposal to amend the current FAD management resolution to include support and supply vessels.
• Harvest Strategies – Advanced its management strategy evaluation (MSE) work for all tuna stocks. MSEs are one of the seven core elements of precautionary harvest strategies as defined by the NGO Tuna Forum, and are an essential component of harvest strategy development.
• The Commission also made improvements on issues of at-sea trans-shipment and bycatch mitigation (blue sharks), though much work remains.
More Progress Required
• Observer Coverage – The commission lags other RFMOs with its 5% observer coverage requirement for various gear types and falls far short of our coordinated asks. Increased observer coverage must be a primary focus moving forward.
• FADs – Address data requirements, data analysis, and improved compliance
• Bycatch – Better address mobula and manta ray bycatch
Further Support needed:
SR participants to engage in RFMO advocacy and direct action as directed by SFP. In particular, SR attendees are invited to attend the WCPFC meeting in December, which has been moved to Honolulu.
SR participants and retail partners engage with RFMO delegates and heads of state to call for improved regulations for longline bycatch mitigation, guided by the longline bycatch mitigation best practice guide.
Update: SFP conducted a Longline Bycatch Webinar on July 24, with 27 attendees, including SFP partners, NGO colleagues (Birdlife), and NOAA.
The recording was circulated to stakeholders via the August FF Tuna SR newsletter, along with a short explanatory note on the proposed pilot; seeking expressions of interest. SFP circulated our intention to run a pilot project whereby a supply chain company follows the eight steps outlined in the guide to support a fleet in adopting best practices. Already secured interest from the Pacific Longline FIP.
Interest from seven organizations (incl. two retailers) in the bycatch pilot has been secured.
Further support needed:
SR participants to communicate their requirements for bycatch best practice to their suppliers. Implement the eight steps outlined in the guide to support a fleet in adopting best practices. Employ the requirements of the guide in your sourcing guidelines.
The concept of a large-scale fresh & frozen tuna (i.e. yellowfin and/or bigeye) FIP is key to achieving Target 75 in this sector. Interest has been expressed informally in establishing an “RFMO-level” FIP, which would act to draw together the improvement needs in longline tuna fisheries under the management of a specified RFMO. Such an approach could lead to significant economies of scale and direct pressure on RFMO delegates to address key improvement needs (likely implementation of harvest strategies).
Further support needed:
Formal consideration should be given to establishing an RFMO-wide fresh & frozen tuna FIP.
SFP is in the process of identifying and approaching buyers of fresh and frozen tuna in important markets such as Japan and southern Europe.
4. Expansion of the SR
Update: No further expansion in Q3.
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.