Last Update: October 2016
The Asia Reduction Fisheries Supply Chain Roundtable (SR) addresses the improvements required in the typically tropical multispecies/multigear fisheries of the Southeast Asia region. The specific fisheries of recent interest involve those supplying fishmeal in Thailand and Vietnam. There are fisheries with similar issues in the region (e.g., China, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand*, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Brunei, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and India), where similar initiatives are being explored.
An industry-led Sustainable Shrimp Supply Chain Task Force was created 2015; SFP is a formal participant and the Task Force is focused on on-the-ground initiatives within Thailand (and potentially expanding to other ASEAN countries).
Supply Chain Roundtable Participants:
If you would like more information about the Supply Chain Roundtable or wish to support it, please contact SFP.
Fisheries and/or FIPs covered:
The Supply Chain Roundtable tracks a number of mixed species in multiple-gear fisheries used for reduction and human consumption in the region, but current focus of field work is Thailand and Vietnam.
SFP’s FishSource database contains a significant number of FS profiles within the ASEAN region (e.g. circa 58 fish stocks that are either wholly or partly found in Thai waters – see separate document/URL). However, many of these fisheries are data deficient and/or minimally regulated and managed).
The following FIPs and / or scoping projects are supported and monitored:
The following TSFR-led FIPs are under scoping/development stage (contact TSFR and/or Task Force for further advice)
- Thailand Multispecies Trawl
- Gulf of Thailand Multispecies Trawl
- Andaman Sea Multispecies Trawl
Improvement Needs & Recommendations:
The Asia Reduction Fisheries Supply Chain Roundtable (SR) has sought to improve its current knowledge of the issues associated with the concerned fisheries.
Recommended actions for the entire supply chain include:
- Ensure that appropriate data (landing statistics, fishing grounds, effort, catch species, and size composition) on marine fishes used for producing fishmeal and fish feed for aquaculture, is publicly available and supports efforts on species/stock identification and indications of stock status.
- Establish robust fishing vessel registers and licensing (including gear, species, and area).
- Gather information on initiatives (including legal) undertaken by relevant ASEAN-country authorities and other entities aimed at better management and understanding of fisheries that produce raw material for fishmeal and fish feed production (directly and/or indirectly).
- Ensure that suppliers of raw materials, as well as processors, act to combat any labor/social issues that are identified and comply with any new and all existing labor laws.
- For producers: provide appropriate information about the species they source for producing fishmeal and fish feed (origin, catch, and size composition) as well as from where and how the fisheries operate (fishing grounds/vessel types/gears/landing ports).
- For producers: assist SFP in improving it’s understanding of the production and use of fishmeal and fish feed (processing process, labeling and packaging, traceability documentation, value and commercial chain).
- For aqua-farmers: ask their suppliers to keep traceability records and provide constant information about which species/sizes are used in the fish feed they source from to feed farmed shrimps and fishes.
SR Participants-Stakeholders: Current Activities
- Inform the industry about the issues associated with the use of feed fish and the management improvement needs of the fisheries that supply feed fish, at an ASEAN level.
- Increase uptake of SFP’s Control Document scheme.
- Assist industry in exercising leadership in seeking and implementing better fisheries management and provide a forum for airing industry views and discussing potential solutions.
- Provide a point of contact for other stakeholders to seek information and contacts.
- Continue to support, but transit ownership of Vietnam FIPs to industry.
- Convene a national-level stakeholder group to allow industry and government to better co-operate.
- Explore application of SFP’s control document model.
- Provide support to TSFR and Thai stakeholders regarding implementing national-level FIP with pilot projects in Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea.
- Support and track the SSSTF activities, plans, and impacts, especially regarding “track and trace,” including application of SFP’s control document model.
- Maintain a watching brief and support Shrimp Task Force (SSSTF) developments and impacts.
- Ensure that fishing vessel owners/operators comply with new labor laws, the codes of conduct promoted by the SSSTF, TSFR and other relevant stakeholders.
- For seafood companies and other relevant stakeholders:
- Scrutinize working plans proposed and developed by the SSSTF.
- Apply for membership to the SSSTF and/or support its activities and initiatives.
- Establish fishmeal-plant-to-feed-mill-plants traceability/audit trails as proposed by the SSSTF.
- Presentation made at SCA Seafood Summit January 2011
- March: SR meeting – Convened by SFP in Bangkok, Thailand
- December: SR meeting – Convened jointly by SFP and the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organization (IFFO)
- Presentation on the project made at SCA Seafood Summit September 2012
- Fishmeal factories and landing site visits in Thailand and Vietnam
- SR meeting held Bangkok, April 2012
- Announcement regarding intention to create FIPs at GOAL 2012 in Bangkok
- November: Meeting with surimi producers held in Bangkok.
- Presentation to IFFO RS Board on progress and needs (December)
- Peer reviewed paper on trawl management submitted
Presentation to REBYCII workshop on trawl management
- Conducted visits to Vietnam to Ben Tre and Kien Giang provinces to meet feed and meal producers to discuss the development of FIPs
- Initial SR budget and funding by participants to catalyze four pilot FIPs agreed
- Project proposals submitted by TUF and Thailand Stakeholder groups
- Met in Hanoi with senior director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to discuss FIP in Kien Giang Province
- Meeting held in Ho Chi Minh City with World Bank
- Launch of the Ben Tre and Kien Giang FIPs, Vietnam, July 2013; appointment of local coordinator
- Field visits to Kien Giang and Ben Tre to liaise with government officials and visit ports in December 2013
- Appointment of Thailand-based coordinator – Formation of the Thai Sustainable Fisheries Roundtable (TSFR)
- July: SR meeting held in Bangkok with Industry Associations
- Thai Sustainable Fisheries Roundtable (TSFR) announces development of 5-year sustainable development plan for the fisheries sector: February 10, 2014.
- FAO/APFIC issues invitations to industry groups and others to present their projects at next meeting of the Commission in India in June 2014.
- Draft report received regarding Fishery Feasibility Trial for developing the IFFO Fishery Improvers Component (under review and scheduled for translation/discussion with FIP participants and stakeholders).
- SR participants agree to initiate pilot enhanced data collection exercise.
- SR participants agree to collective statement of support for Thailand initiatives but raise concerns regarding social issues and underline the need for development of a robust fishery management strategy for the fisheries.
- MoU developed with Thai Sustainable Fisheries Roundtable (TSFR).
- Stakeholder mapping completed for Thai fisheries.
- Supply Chain Analysis commissioned.
- Project management structure discussed with TSFR.
- MoU signed between TSFR and SFP.
- Launch of pilot data collection exercise.
- Meeting between SR and TSFR held in October 2015, where TSFR outlined recent developments regarding Fishing Vessels Register and Marine Catch Purchase Documentation and provided a roadmap for fisheries improvements. An update on the situation surrounding social and labor issues was also provided. SR participants welcomed the information but expressed concern that the timetable for implementing FIPs and setting up of a TSFR website was again delayed.
- SFP developed an intensive survey on gathering key information on fisheries management-related issues and additionally met with Marine Department (MD) and Department of Fisheries (DoF) to analyze the current situation of the Fishing Vessels Register, fishing licenses, VMS installation, adoption of MCPD (marine catch purchasing document), and new Fisheries Law (information on above items available on request).
- The EU has advised that a “yellow card” could be shortly issued to Thailand regarding advances made on combating IUU fishing practices, which generated the positive result of a proactive reaction from Thai authorities. The Thai government announced the establishment of a Thai National Fisheries Policy Committee, which will coordinate six major national agencies dealing with marine and fisheries issues with the main objective to eradicate IUU practices and promote sustainable fisheries in Thailand. Further subcommittees will be appointed for dealing with specific matters. The Prime Minister has specifically urged concerned national agencies to force all fishing vessels to be officially registered and install tracking devices (VMS).
- SR participants welcome advice that the Thai “Shrimp Sustainable Supply Chain Task Force” has recognized gaps in the marine catches purchasing document (MCPD) and that the Task Force, working with Thai Feed Association will require that an enhanced landing verification process, which as of April 2015 is under development, is adopted by all Association members (https://js.undercurrentnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/SSSC-Task-Force_Overview-and-Progress_May-2015_Short_Master_180515-11.pdf).
- During the 2015 European Fisheries Forum, organized by SFP in Madrid, a roundtable meeting was convened. The meeting had an open format for explaining SR objectives and main activities to the public. The participants were briefed on the status of the different issues and asked to explore further possibilities of the adoption a control document (in view of noted gaps in the MCPD promoted by local authorities).
- North American and European roundtable buyers met in Brussels in April 2015 and agreed in principle to adopt a formal requirement of commercial contracts (i.e., a “control document”) to every stakeholder implicated in trade transactions along the market chain. In order to do so, the different parts of the control document (letter of warranty, control list, and audit protocol) have to be fine tuned and checked.
- SFP became member of the Shrimp Sustainable Supply Chain Task Force in May. Task Force members developed and agreed to ask for stakeholders in the shrimp production and distribution industries. Protocols for assuring compliance are under development by internationally recognized institutions. These ask and audit protocols will constitute the basis for the control document.
- In April, the European Commission officially gave Thailand a “yellow card” regarding IUU issues. That means that if, 6 months after the card was issued, Thailand has failed to demonstrate significant advances in stopping IUU issues, Thailand will be nominated as a non-cooperative party in deterring illegal activities and fish product imports from Thailand into the European Union territory will be banned.
- In May, the Thai Government officially published the new Thai national fisheries law (Act 2558). Additionally, the Thai authorities have established a Command Center for Combating Illegal Fishing (CCCIF), allowing a Navy Commander to control all issues relating to labor and IUU matters. As a result, 28 centers for port in and port out (PIPO) controls have been established and VMS installation on the commercial fleet has begun.
- September – All rules and regulations from CCCIF were applied throughout all Thai waters.
- September 8 – The new Director General of the Department of Fisheries was appointed.
- October – CCCIF banned Thai vessels from transshipment both in Thai waters and overseas for a one-year period, to be reviewed after the year is completed.
- October – The Shrimp Task Force convened its annual meeting in Bangkok to review achievements to date and draft its workplans for 2016, including plans for each of the 7 subgroups or working groups.
- November – The Thai cabinet approved new measures to combat and eradicate IUU fishing, including the Royal Fisheries Ordinance 2015 (effective November 14, designed to bring the 2015 Fisheries Act into compliance with international laws); the 2105 Fisheries Management Plan (FMP); and the National Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (NPOA-IUU). So far, these three documents are the most important tools issued for the authorities to combat IUU.
- November – A recent Greenpeace investigation revealed new incidents of forced labor on Thai-operated vessels.
- November – Thai Customs and Fisheries departments signed an MOU. The Customs Department created a mobile app called “Find My Permit,” which helps officials check documents of fishing vessels and owners quickly.
- November – Indonesia Minister for Fisheries decided not to renew a fishing ban on foreign vessels of more than 30 gross register tons (GRT) as stipulated in Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Regulation No 10/2015. Foreign vessels must have permits WPP registration and good governance . Foreign vessels that want their vessel permits (SIKPI) and fishing permits (SIPI) renewed must be reverified by Indonesian authorities.
- November – A new Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) investigation uncovered that IUU fishing, modern slavery, torture, and murder still plague the Thai fishing operations of companies previously investigated in 2013.
- December – The Thai Frozen Foods Association (TFFA) made an announcement to eradicate third-party pre-processing operations from the Thai shrimp supply chain among its members, effective end of December 2015.
- December – The Thai Cabinet approved the principle following 12 draft Ministerial Regulations in fisheries, according to the Royal Ordinance on Fisheries 2015.
January – March
- Thai seafood companies (TUF, CPF) signed an MoU with CCCIF.
- NGO reports and media coverage report that human trafficking/social/labor abuse and IUU continue, despite recent efforts by the Thai authorities.
- The Thai Customs Department, together with the DOF and CCCIF, introduced a new computer application called Anti-IUU Fishing aimed at facilitating the inspection and investigation of illegal fishing cases by officials. The App is in two sections: 1) “Public Document,” which reports on the activities of relevant agencies to eradicate IUU; and 2) “Official Document,” which covers data from a wide range of sources, lists of illegal vessels incoming vessels, marine products and licensed operators. The database can only be accessed by authorized users and is password protected.
April – June
Department of Fisheries Restructuring
Department of Fisheries was restructured to increase the number of Divisions dealing with marine fisheries, according to announcement in the Royal Gazette on May 27, 2016.
The previous department structure included a Marine Research and Development Division and Marine Fishery Patrol unit. The revised structure has 24 divisions, 8 of which are directly responsible for marine fisheries and dealing with IUU.
July – September
Shrimp Task Force
Published an update on activities
The Task Force FIP sub-group reported that the Andaman Sea FIP Action Plan will be complete in September and the Gulf of Thailand FIP has produced a white paper and will be working on an action plan.
Thai Union Foods decided to work alongside the current FIP initiatives in the Andaman Sea instead of progressing a separate FIP.
TSFR announce a plan for the formation of the Gulf of Thailand FIP – “an alliance of public and private sector groups involved in the fisheries industry working together to adopt international standards for use in Gulf of Thailand fisheries”.
Department of Fisheries
Launched a commercial fishing vessel inspection program during 15 August – 15 September 2016.
Note - The Department had issued fishing licenses to 11,218 commercial fishing vessels on 1 April 2016 without vessel and fishing gear inspection. Therefore, the department will have to inspect all commercial fishing vessels during 15 August – 15 September 2016. All vessels must comply with Fisheries Decree 2015.
Head of NCPO Order 53/2559 (2016)
Royal Gazette released a Head of NCPO Order 53/2559 (2016) on 9 September 2016 that aims to retain all illegal fishing vessels within ports.
- IFFO RS-based assessment of Kien Giang and Ben Tre fisheries commenced and completed.
- Evaluation of suitability of IFFO-RS for these types of fisheries drafted.
- Meeting of Ben Tre FIP held in August to draft work-plan.
- Meeting of both Vietnam FIPs, held in Ho Chi Minh City on 6 October, where the results of the IFFO evaluation and work-plan content were discussed. It was recognized that both FIPs shared common elements and it was agreed to press for improvements at the national level.
- Ben Tre and Kien Giang FIP work-plans drafted and implementation approved for the next 3 years (2015, 2016, and 2017).
- In March, SR participant meetings were held in both Ben Tre and Kien Giang provinces at which stakeholders were presented the work-plan and had the opportunity to establish priorities and discuss the best ways to implement them. Oxfam has been identified as a potential new participant that will cooperate actively in social and labor issues.
- During March and May, pilot projects preparation for increasing local capacity for gathering fishing data, logbooks fulfillment, and landing sampling were advanced in both provinces. During the first week of June, logbook training for skippers conducted in Ben Tre harbors by SUBDECAFIREP as part of the work-plan activities.
- A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between SFP and national entities for facilitating legal status of the interventions planned by both FIPs was signed.
- In October, a stakeholder meeting comprising all the Ben Tre FIP participants was held in Ben Tre and FIP coordination was effectively transferred from SFP to a committee of stakeholders formed by local and international seafood companies, plus the local authorities.
- In December, SFP Kien Giang FIP coordination team decided, based on the slow pace of implementation and the unclear leading role of industry, to convene a stakeholder meeting in March 2106 (after the Tet holiday) to review the status of this FIP, clarify roles and participants, check administrative approval procedures, and re-launch the FIP activities.
January – June
- Ben Tre FIP:
- FACOD (Center for Transferring of Technology Services and Community Development for Vietnam Agriculture – Fisheries) under VINAFIS (Vietnam Fishery Society) is leading the Ben Tre FIP and working with relevant participants including Morrison’s, Amanda Seafood, Viet Tien Fishmeal, and the local authority (DARD – Department of Agriculture and Rural Development).
- FACOD and existing participants are considering the involvement of additional supply chain participants.
- Morrison’s and Viet Tien Fishmeal announced a budget for the project operations.
- A draft proposal was developed to establish the FIP management board and some operating principles.
- Ben Tre FIP: Stakeholder meeting planned (date to be determined) to achieve agreement among relevant participants and recommendations from local authorities before seeking formal approval from the local government.
- Kien Giang FIP:
- AOKI (a joint venture between KIHUSEA VN, a Vietnamese company located in Kien Giang, and Alliance Oceane, a French company processing surimi in Kien Giang) expressed active interest in involvement with the Kien Giang FIP; a meeting with SFP is planned for March 2016.
- FIP stakeholder meeting scheduled for March 2016 with objective of identifying and appointing an industry project leader. This meeting will initiate engagement with local authorities and relevant stakeholders to establish administrative goals and commitments from core participants.
- Phuc Ngoc Fishmeal Company has embarked on a pilot project to collect logbook data from a representative sample of the fleet they source from.
- A MoU has been signed between SFP and VINAFIS, FACOD/VINAFIS, with two companies recognized as FIP stakeholders.
July – September
1. Lower Mekong Ben Tre Trawl FIP
Local Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and Provincial People’s Committee (PPC) held a meeting on 26 August and gave green light to the plan presented by the industries leading the plan on project implementation mechanism and budget management. FACOD remains as project implementing partner, supported by leading industries.
- FIP stakeholders prepared agreements/commitments to financially support the FIP
- Presently, FACOD under the VINAFIS (Vietnam Fisheries Society or Vietnam Fisheries Association) officially coordinated the FIP
- Morrisons, Amanda Seafoods, FACOD are officially FIP’s leadersLocal authority agreed to be a partner to implement FIP
- Logbook record, capacity building, and awareness raising have been conducted in collaboration with some other projects/organizations including NOAA/IFFO project, REBYC2-CTI (GEF fund project), Kimdelta, VINAFIS, VASEP, OXFAM-ICAFIS (SWITCH Asia programme (2016-2019)), MSC/ASC, IFFO
- FIP’s information has been posted on Fisheryprogress.org and the FIP Directory
- SFP is providing assistance to develop/publish FIP progress report and planning to transfer to industry.
2. Lower Mekong Kien Giang Trawl FIP
Local PPC officially endorsed the project during the last week of August, validating the concept note prepared by KIHUSEA, current leading local industry, and stakeholders have been informed. A stakeholder meeting is expected to convene before the end of 2016 to approve the work-plan to start implementation in early 2017.
- KIHUSEA VN (hereafter KIHUSEA) agreed to lead the FIP
- Local government, PPC, have already approved to develop and conduct FIP
- Local DARD is strongly supporting the FIP
- Aquafeed/fishmeal processing companies are paying more atttention to the FIP
- SFP is currently co-coordinating the FIP and in charge of project progress monitoring, publishing relevant reports/information, assistances to fulfill administrative procedures
- FIP’s information has been posted on Fisheryprogress.org and the FIP Directory
- Awareness raising, capacity building have been carried out through a series of meetings, workshops, forums held by the FIP or other projects/programs including NOAA/IFFO project, South and Southeast Asia regional FIP workshop, VASEP, WWF, Blue Swimming Crab FIP in Kien Giang, REBYC2-CTI, Kimdelta, MSC/ASC, IFFO.