Last Update: December 2016

The Asia-Pacific Squid Supply Chain Roundtable (SR) was initiated by North American and European squid importers and buyers who recognize that many of the sustainability challenges found in the region’s squid fisheries will need to be addressed by industry stakeholders through collaborative, precompetitive approaches. Early efforts have focused on the Chinese mitre squid fishery, as this is an important fishery to many of the initial SR members. In this fishery, SR participants were able to engage and communicate to their Chinese domestic suppliers and Chinese fishing authorities regarding the importance of sustainability to the global market. 

While initial SR efforts focused on the Chinese mitre squid fishery, some companies have participated in SR meetings despite no association with that particular fishery. These companies hope to take lessons learned from the Chinese improvement effort, and apply them to other squid fisheries, as the SR’s efforts expand to other squid fisheries in the region.  

Supply Chain Roundtable Participants:

  • Albion Fisheries
  • Beaver Street Fisheries
  • High Liner Foods
  • IG International
  • Icelandic Seachill
  • Lyons Seafoods
  • Lund’s
  • Netuno USA
  • PanaPesca USA
  • Quirch Foods
  • Sea Farms
  • Slade Gorton
  • Stavis Seafoods
  • Young’s Seafood

Fisheries and/or FIPs Covered:

At present, the roundtable focuses on a number of squid fisheries found in the Asia-Pacific region. An overview of related FS profiles can be found here.

The following FIPs are supported and monitored:

 Improvement Needs:

  • Address data deficiency in areas of recruitment, landings data, fishing effort, bycatch, gear impacts, identifying spawning zones, and PET species interactions.
  • Based on data collection, implement and enforce the regulation of fishing effort, as well as seasonal and fishing zone closures to protect spawning stocks. 
  • Strengthen enforcement of existing squid fishery regulations, including closed fishing areas and seasons in order to address IUU fishing. 

Action Recommendations for Suppliers:

  • Work with supply chains to initiate FIPs in fisheries where improvements are needed.
  • When sourcing from squid fisheries that are managed under seasonal closures, SR participants should ensure suppliers implement no-purchase policies during fishing moratoriums.
  • Exported squid products from the region are often sourced from a mix of various squid fisheries, so importers and buyers should ensure that their suppliers can identify the individual source fisheries.  

Current Objectives: 

In general, the Asia-Pacific Squid Supply Chain Roundtable objectives focus on monitoring sustainability status and issues relating to the region’s squid fisheries, engaging supply chains and local producers in fishery improvement efforts, and monitoring the progress of current squid FIP efforts toward long-term sustainability of squid in domestic and international markets. 

In particular, objectives for 2016 are as follows:

  • Establish a fully operational SR with formal participants, develop a SR workplan, and schedule future SR meetings.
  • Ensure the Chinese (Shantou) Mitre Squid FIP confirms additional participants and is fully funded.
  • Ensure all squid FIPs under the SR are maintaining a minimum “B” (Good) SFP FIP Progress Rating.
  • Formalize a new FIP in the Japanese flying squid fisheries. 

Progress Update: 


August – December

  • August 28 – The first Asia-Pacific Squid SR meeting was held in Massachusetts, US. Click here for meeting details.
  • The meeting was facilitated by SFP and funded by High Liner Foods. Participants included twelve North American and European squid import companies, and attendees discussed collaborative approaches to sustainability improvements in Asia-Pacific squid fisheries. In particular, the idea of submitting a co-signed letter to Shantou fishing authorities requesting help with sustainability improvements was proposed.
  • November 5 – A second SR meeting was held in Qingdao, China, at which over a dozen of squid buyers, processors, and NGOs gathered to learn about the fishery status and challenges, and participants expressed support for the co-signed letter to Shantou fishing authorities. 


January – April

  • SFP facilitated in drafting, translating, and coordinating the letter with twelve North American and European squid importers and four Chinese squid exporters as signatories. The letter was then submitted to the Shantou Ocean and Fishery Bureau.
  • This co-signed letter raised the Bureau’s attention and the Bureau responded positively with an interest to further communicate with buyers and processors to better understand sustainability issues within the squid fishery and necessary improvements. 

May – August 

  • SFP, through a contract with China Blue Sustainability Institute (newly founded local NGO promoting sustainable fishery and aquaculture in China) and with assistance from Shantou Haimao, proposed a multi-stakeholder roundtable meeting with local fishing authorities, researchers, and industry associations.
  • The multi-stakeholder roundtable, coordinated by the Shantou Fisheries Industry Association and sponsored by six companies, was welcomed by the Shantou Fishery Bureau. The roundtable was successfully held with over 40 people in attendance from a wide range of organizations, including government officials, foreign buyers, local processors, research institutes, and NGOs (including MSC). The meeting educated government officials on the importance of squid fishery sustainability to the global supply chain and also explained the complexity of fishery governance and management to foreign buyers. The roundtable also advised the industry on the challenges and potential resources needed to improve the status of the squid fishery.




  • China Blue drafted a research concept note that presented a step-by-step workplan to carry out baseline research and improvement implementation. SR participants are currently reviewing the concept note, and funding opportunities are being sought.


  • The SR met during the Seafood Expo North America in Boston. Click here for meeting details.

    Potential new industry participants were invited and educated on the supply chain roundtable concept. China Blue Sustainability Institute, with the help of SFP, gave an update on the Chinese (Shantou) Mitre Squid FIP and presented the new engagement with South China Sea Fisheries Research Institute (SCSFRI), who developed a research plan with budget and timeline.  Attendees were also updated about an emerging FIP on Japanese Flying Squid in the East China Sea and Yellow Sea, a project of Ocean Outcomes commissioned by Sea Farms Limited. The FIP is seeking additional participants sourcing from the fishery.

April – September

  • While the Chinese (Shantou) Mitre Squid FIP received strong support from Chinese policymakers and scientists, and the project is being viewed as a proof of concept for other Chinese fisheries, the FIP participants continue to struggle with generating the FIP budget needed to implement the presented research plan. The research plan will serve as the basis upon which this data-deficient fishery will determine needed improvements and develop a FIP workplan. As such the FIP is currently inactive and not operational. Given the current funding challenges for the Chinese (Shantou) Mitre Squid FIP, SFP and China Blue are currently exploring alternative strategies to move the improvement effort forward.

October – December

  • The SR gained a new participant, one of the largest squid importers in North America. With this new commitment, the FIP budget has been covered to implement the agreed research plan in order to finalize a FIP workplan. It is estimated that in early 2017 the FIP can be re-activated under official industry leadership, with a public workplan available shortly thereafter.