The Global Mahi Supply Chain Roundtable (SR) was formed in 2019, as an expansion of the previous Eastern Pacific Ocean Large Pelagics Fisheries SR.
The Eastern Pacific Ocean large pelagics fisheries are multi-species and include an array of highly migratory species, such as tuna, billfishes, sharks, mahi-mahi, and jacks. These fisheries share both management and environmental challenges that make them a global conservation priority, including wide-ranging distribution across diverse habitats, their species’ roles as top-level predators, and the conditions of their populations. Another matter of importance for large pelagics fishing involves the incidental capture of endangered, threatened, or protected (ETP) species, as well as species of importance for other sectors and special interest (sharks and turtles).
The Global Mahi SR focuses on mahi-mahi improvements at the fishery, regional, and national levels.
As described in the mahi T75 report, 59 percent of global mahi volumes are currently considered sustainable or improving. However, an additional 15 percent of global production could become sustainable or improving by 2020, via engagement through the existing supply chain roundtables (SRs).
As such the Global Mahi Supply Chain Roundtable focuses on Eastern Pacific Ocean large pelagic multi-species fisheries and on influencing regional policy, promoting local FIPs to ensure best fishing practices at the coastal state level, and encouraging alignment across the entire fleet at a transboundary level.
Current Fisheries and/or FIPs Covered: The SR focuses on Eastern Pacific Ocean large pelagics, namely mahi-mahi, and on influencing regional policy, promoting local FIPs to ensure best fishing practices at the coastal state level, and encouraging alignment across the entire fleet at a transboundary level.
The following FIPs are supported and monitored:
Ecuador Mahi-Mahi FIP (World Wildlife Fund)
Guatemala Pacific Mahi-Mahi FIP (CeDePesca)
Panama Pacific Mahi-Mahi and Yellowfin Tuna FIP
Peru Mahi-Mahi FIP (Confremar)
Peru Mahi-Mahi FIP (World Wildlife Fund)
The SR prioritizes the following fisheries for the initiation of FIPs:
PROSPECTIVE Costa Rica large pelagics - longline
Ecuador pole and line tuna
Ecuador longline swordfish
We are seeking additional participants, particularly buyers of mahi-mahi in the North American market. Please contact SFP for more information.
Current Supply Chain Roundtable Participants:
Improvement Needs and Recommendations:
1. Formal adoption of biological reference points and harvest control rules for target and key bycatch species (e.g., sharks, billfish).
2. Mandatory and standardized data collection and observers programs with a minimum coverage of 20 percent of the longline fishing operations, to document bycatch and discards of ETP species, including sharks, turtles, and other non-target species.
3. Control of fishing mortality to maintain the stocks at or above MSY, or to recover the biomass to desired levels for any overexploited stocks.
4. Industry-recognized adoption of changes to fishing practices to minimize the bycatch and mortality rates of ETP species, such as those outlined in this document (Best practices in tuna longline fisheries report).
5. Encouraging producers and key vendors to engage in existing FIPs to ensure national coverage of improvement efforts in key countries (Peru, Ecuador, and Costa Rica) and encouraging FIP implementers to coordinate efforts to enhance regional impact at the IATTC level.
Current Objectives and Action Recommendations for Suppliers:
1. Communicate with national governments about the need for policy improvement.
- The fisheries for large pelagics in the EPO are multi-species fisheries, and while tuna stocks have a good management scheme, most of the harvest control rules that have been defined have not yet been formally adopted.
- The current requirement for onboard observer coverage for the longline fleet is 5 percent. This coverage is too low and lacks compliance.
2. Communicate to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) about the need for improved management measures, including:
- Formally adopt biological reference points and harvest control rules for mahi-mahi.
- Increase longline observer coverage to a minimum of 20 percent.
- Declare mahi to be a prioritized species and approve the Strategic Scientific Plan presented in the 9th Meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee.
- Maintain training activities for captains on the handling of bycatch species on board, to ensure they are returned to the sea alive.
- Prioritize work to assess the effectiveness of adopted and alternative bycatch mitigation methods.
- Implement a prohibition on the use of steel leaders to reduce shark bycatch, during a period of three consecutive months from April through September of each year for the relevant portions of their national fleets.
3. Request that your suppliers implement the following improvements (as applicable) included in various documents published by SFP on procurement specifications and fishing best practices:
- For mitigating bycatch in longline fisheries, adopt hook sizes and shapes designed for reducing the catch of turtles.
- Avoid the use of wire leaders and adopt longer leaders to reduce post-hooking mortality of turtles.
- Set scaring lines for birds.
- Strengthen current finning ban by requiring “fins naturally attached” policy to be formally adopted by IATTC.
For an overview of past progress, click here.
If you would like more information about the Supply Chain Roundtable or wish to support it, please contact SFP.
Quarterly EPO Large Pelagics SR Update – October to December 2018 - Future updates to come under Global Mahi SR name
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, incl. details from past quarterly updates, can be found here.
1. Improvements in Target 75 Priority Fisheries
Costa Rica Longline YFT, Swordfish, and Mahi FIP:
The Costa Rica Large Pelagics FIP design advanced positively. MRAG Americas, the selected Conformity Assessment Body (CAB), completed a first version of the pre-assessment. Further consultations were developed with national stakeholders and key actors involved in the fishery and incorporated into the document. A consultant was engaged to develop the FIP workplan, and, on the basis of the first drafts of the pre-assessment, the consultant developed a first draft workplan that was presented and discussed with key stakeholders in preparation for a consultation workshop that was carried out in the first week of December.
Further support needed: Encourage your CR supply chain to participate in the workshop.
Ecuador Pole and Line FIP:
During the SR webinar on 20 November 2018, SR members received information about the FIP. The aim of the presentation was to seek market support from the SR. As an outcome of the webinar, Alfa Gamma Seafood and Sea Delight expressed interest in the FIP.
Further support needed: Continue to support the FIP initiation and refer your supply chain to this initiative.
Ecuador Industrial Longline Swordfish FIP:
Update:No further developments.
Further support needed: Support the FIP initiation and refer your supply chain to this initiative.
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 (coming soon).
Update: The following FIPs dropped in their progress ratings and will need follow up by the SR:
- Guatemala mahi-mahi, from C to D
- Peru mahi-mahi - longline (Confremar), from C to E
The Peru Pacific swordfish – longline FIP had been declared inactive in June 2018.
Further support needed: Contact the FIP Implementers and confirm your interest in the FIPs making and reporting good progress publicly.
3. Support Mitigation of Fishery/FIP Overarching Sustainability issues
SR members agreed on the following SR action points: a) Supporting the implementation of a regional strategy to encourage their suppliers to participate in an International Mahi Committee, b) requesting the IATTC, through their national delegates, to adopt the SAC recommendations, and c) continuing to support current FIPs and the new FIPs.
A webinar of the EPO Large Pelagics SR was held online on 20 November 2018.
During the webinar, the SR participants received information on advances and challenges faced at the IATTC level to improve mahi-mahi fisheries management. Please find a summary of this information here.
Further support needed: SR participants to advocate to US delegates to support improvements in the science and management of mahi fisheries in the EPO region. Moreover, SR participants should request their suppliers to participate in an International Mahi Committee.
4. Expansion of the SR
Update: Two new companies formalized their participation in the SR. The new SR participants are:
1. Inland Seafood (November 2018)
2. D&E Import LLC (December 2018)
During this reporting period, Fortune Fish Co. expressed interest in joining the SR.
Further support needed: The SR is seeking further participation from mahi-mahi buyers.