The Global Squid Supply Chain Roundtable (SR) is a combination of two former SRs, one covering Asia-Pacific and the other covering South American squid fisheries. The merge took effect in March 2017, following a joint SR meeting at Seafood Expo North America in Boston.

Both SRs were initiated by European squid importers and buyers, along with North American importers and buyers for the Asia-Pacific region, who recognized that addressing many of the sustainability challenges found in the world’s squid fisheries would require a collaborative, pre-competitive approach from industry stakeholders.

Early efforts focused on the Chinese mitre squid, Japanese flying squid, and Peruvian jumbo flying squid fisheries, as these were important fisheries to many of the initial SR members. Participating importers and buyers were able to engage with and communicate to their Chinese and Peruvian domestic suppliers and national fishing authorities in both countries regarding the importance of sustainability to the global market.

While initial SR efforts were focused on promoting fishery improvement projects (FIPs) in these specific squid fisheries, some companies participated in SR meetings despite having no association with the fisheries. These companies hope to take lessons learned from this experience and apply them to other squid fisheries in the region, once the SR has developed a first assessment of these fisheries (through FishSource profiles) and the SR’s efforts expand. 

The most recent T75 sector update report for squid was released in early 2019 and details the state of the sector. According to the report’s findings, 14 percent of the global production is currently considered sustainable or improving, up from 0.03 percent in the 2017 T75 squid sector report. The US Northeast Longfin Inshore Squid Bottom Trawl Fishery became the first squid fishery to achieve MSC certification.

It is possible that existing supply chain leverage and interest may be able to influence more than 57 percent of global production. The key to reaching T75 is engaging Chinese and South Korean fisheries operating in the international waters off South America. The industry can accomplish this through demand from some markets already engaged in sustainability, engaging the markets where those products end up, and creating demand for sustainable products from new markets.

Fisheries and/or FIPs Covered:

At present, the roundtable focuses on a number of squid fisheries found worldwide. Please find an overview of all T75 relevant fisheries, including those currently not prioritized by the SRhere

The following FIPs are supported and monitored:

Improvement needs, objectives, and action recommendations for 2020 are in development, and will be published after the annual SR meeting.

Progress Update

A summary of past progress can be found in the SR Chronicles.

Improvement Needs:

Asia-Pacific

  • Address data deficiencies 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.
  • Work with domestic supply chains in producing countries to engage distant water squid fleets in high seas improvement efforts.

South America

  • Develop fishery assessments for Patagonian squid (Loligo gahi) fisheries.
  • Update fishery assessments on the jumbo flying squid (Dosidicus gigas) fisheries.
  • Strengthen enforcement of existing national squid fishery regulations and EEZ waters control, in order to minimize impacts at stock level of the fishing activity happening in international waters. 
  • Mobilize Argentine shortfin (Illex argentinus) fishing countries to collectively establish an RFMO-type management body for high seas fisheries.
  • Strengthen regulatory and enforcement management of regional and international waters of jumbo flying squid fisheries at the South Pacific RFMO level.

Current Objectives:  

In general, the Global Squid Supply Chain Roundtable (SR) 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 South America, the SR has the following overall goals:

  • Support the efforts of the Sociedad Nacional de Industrias (SNI) to set up a FIP for the Peruvian jumbo flying squid fishery.
  • Develop and update squid fisheries assessments as a first step toward identifying areas in need of improvement in South American squid fisheries.
  • Support the efforts of the Committee for the Sustainable Management of the Southern Pacific Jumbo Flying Squid (CALAMASUR) to improve management and enforcement at the RFMO level.
  • Engage Chinese and South Korean fleets operating in international waters in improvement efforts for Argentine shortfin and jumbo flying squid. 

In particular, objectives through the end of 2019 are as follows:

  • Initiate a FIP in the Argentine shortfin squid fishery within Argentinian EEZ waters.
  • Support the efforts of the Chinese (Shantou) Mitre Squid FIP and secure participation and funding from relevant SR participants and supply chains.
  • Ensure all published FIPs receive an A-C SFP FIP progress rating.
  • Ensure the East China Sea and Yellow Sea Japanese flying squid - trawl FIP and the Peruvian jumbo flying squid - jig FIP workplans and public reporting are available on FisheryProgress.org.
  • Encourage and support IMARPE’s efforts to develop a stock assessment model that is applicable in assessing stock status of all jumbo flying squid fisheries under South Pacific RFMO influence.
  • Fully develop FishSource profiles for Patagonian squid (Loligo gahi).
  • Publicly announce the Indian squid (Loligo duvauceli) FIP and develop a workplan. 

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. 
  • Reach out to other supply chain companies to encourage their participation and engagement on the SR.
  • Publicly support the establishment of a FIP for the Peruvian jumbo flying squid fishery and work with Peruvian national industry to encourage the formation of the FIP.
  • Publicly support IMARPE’s effort to develop a stock assessment methodology that is applicable to all jumbo flying squid fisheries within the South Pacific RFMO.
  • Publicly support establishing a shortfin squid FIP in the Argentinian EEZ waters.
  • Promote and sponsor the update and development of squid fisheries assessments.
  • Support efforts such as the US East Coast squid fishery’s MSC certification process.  

If you would like more information about the Supply Chain Roundtable or wish to support it, please contact Sam Grimley or Pedro Ferreiro.

A summary of past progress, including highlights from past quarterly updates, can be found in our SR Chronicles

Quarterly Global Squid SR Update – July to December 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. 

1. Improvements in SR Target 75 priority fisheries 

Please find an overview of fisheries identified in the 2019 T75 Squid Sector Report, including those currently not necessarily prioritized by the SR, here.

Peruvian Jumbo Flying Squid FIP

Update: SFP worked with Auchan to develop a press release and email to their suppliers to engage them in the FIP. SFP also met with two SR participants, who are both interested in funding the FIP.

SFP held a meeting in November with the National Association of Processors and Exporters in Peru to discuss FIP management. The association set up a non-profit and decided to participate in and fund CALAMASUR and support the FIP implementation and policy work financially (15 members). Work with these processors/exporters will help to expand the scope of the FIP to cover the whole of national production. WWF is currently updating its coverage calculations to identify the remaining targets.

Further support needed: SR participants to engage vendors to participate in funding the FIP. 

Chile Jumbo Flying Squid

Update: The meeting with representatives of the fishery was postponed and couldn't be attended by SFP. The JFS FIP is developing a new management committee, and, once established, SFP will follow up on FIP development and proposal. Discussions about the management plan are well advanced; once the plan is completed, the pre-assessment will be scheduled. Industry is still interested in having the FIP developed.

No further work in Q4 since changes in legislation that put 30 percent of the fishery (industrial mid-water trawlers) out of business, as the quota is only assigned to jiggers; with the current political situation, there has been no further progress. Efforts are ongoing, but not necessarily within a FIP framework.
Since Chile mainly exports to Korea, there is likely little leverage by the SR participants to progress this work into a FIP . However, they may potentially be able to increase the appetite for a basic FIP to better market their good work on improvements and enforcing the mid-water trawler ban.

Further support needed: SR participants to reach out to vendors before discussions with the management committee.

Argentina, Argentine Shortfin Squid

Update: SFP met with CAPA at Conxemar in October. CAPA agreed to get into a FIP for jiggers in Argentinian waters (80 percent of the fishery in the EEZ). Six market-based companies (including SR participants Cabomar, Congalsa, Sisco France, and Panapesca; and not-yet participants Alfrio and J. Sykes & Sons) will pay for the MSC pre-assessment. An MoU is in preparation. Several consultants have been requested for a proposal for the pre-assessment.

Further support needed: SR participants express support for FIP initiation and CAPA efforts. Contact Pedro Ferreiro for more information.  

China, Japanese Flying Squid (JFS): East China Sea and Yellow Sea Japanese Flying Squid FIP - Trawl

Update: The FIP continues to make progress and is supported by SR participants. SR participants discussed FIP participation with O2 and ongoing efforts.

Further support needed:SR participants to contact O2 and ensure traceability of your product.

China, Common Squid – Shantou-Taiwan Chinese common squid FIP – jigging/single trawl

Update: TheFIP is transitioning from basic to comprehensive, finalizing MSC pre-assessment.

Further support needed: Contact Han Han at ChinaBlue to support this FIP.

India Squid, India Kerala Shrimp and Cephalopods FIP - trawl

Update: No recent updates.

Further support needed: We encourage any interested companies to contact Vinod Malayilethu for more information.

Mexico Jumbo Flying Squid FIP

Update: SmartFish is working with buyer stakeholders to engage these companies on supporting the FIP.  Current catches are low, so it is unclear how much product is entering supply chains. Progress updates on this FIP can be found here.

Further support needed: Monitor and support progress of the FIP, where needed. For more information on this FIP contact Juan Pedro Vela.

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: The New Zealand Arrow Squid FIPs are inactive. A couple of SR participants inquired about the inactivity, which led to SFP facilitating outreach to the Deepwater Group. There is a potential workshop planned to progress the assessment difficulties faced by the FIP.

SFP provided an update to SR members via the Q4 briefing.

No further support needed.

3. Support for mitigation of overarching fishery/FIP sustainability issues

Relevant News: The stakeholder letter respectfully requesting that the South Pacific RFMO take management actions to ensure the long-term sustainability of the jumbo flying squid resource, specifically by developing an acceptable stock assessment, improving data collection through observers, and implementing a vessel monitoring system, now has 20 companies signed on and is ready to share with the RFMO. In the meantime, the scientific committee met and the asks have changed, so SFP is holding off on submitting the letter to the RFMO for the time being. A second workshop is being prepared for December.

The 3rd meeting of CALAMASUR in Lima included representatives from Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico. The meeting had three main topics: 1) limitation of JFS in international waters (increase in Chinese fishing effort); 2) increasing the observer rate in international fleets; and 3) identifying illegal activities of the Chinese fleet in the Peruvian EEZ. CALAMASUR signed a position statement around these topics and will send/present at the next RFMO meeting. Actions for CALAMASUR members in working with their national delegates were agreed on, to ensure there is aligned messaging. CALAMASUR will support/co-host a scientific workshop/committee meeting at the RFMO level, co-funded by SFP, to limit the effort in international waters (Chinese fleet) and conservation measures at the RFMO level without interference by delegates. CALAMASUR is growing fast; the meeting resulted in press coverage, including by artisanal fisheries.

Further support needed: SFP will draft a new letter for signing by SR participants at the committee meeting in the near future. Please contact Pedro Ferreiro directly to sign the letter.

4. Expansion of the SR 

SFP is in the process of identifying buyers of squid from Indonesia and Thailand, and South Korean and Chinese fisheries (in their own EEZ and overseas). 

Update: Grupo Profand andAltamar Foods joined the SR in August and September, respectively.

To connect with top Korean exporters, SFP conducted individual follow ups with SR participants. Two SR participants have put us in touch with Korean contacts. SFP is reviewing information gathered by a consultant on Korean suppliers.

Further support needed:Connect any relevant South Korean companies with SFP. A save-the-date was sent via email for the SR meeting at Seafood Expo North America in Boston in March 2020.

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