Last Update: November 2016
The Eastern Pacific Ocean Large Pelagics Supply Chain Roundtable (SR) was formed in 2015 from an expansion of the previous Central America Mahi SR.
The Eastern Pacific Ocean large pelagics (EPOLP) 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, such as wide-ranging distribution across diverse habitats, their roles as top-level predators, and the condition 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 Eastern Pacific Ocean Large Pelagics SR focuses on influencing regional policy, promoting local FIPs to ensure best fishing practices at the coastal state level, and encourage alignment across the entire fleet at a trans-boundary level. In 2016, we are looking to grow the list of SR participating companies.
Supply Chain Roundtable Participants:
Current Fisheries and/or FIPs Covered: The roundtable focuses on Eastern Pacific Ocean large pelagics.
The following FIPs are supported and monitored:
Ecuador Mahi Mahi FIP (World Wildlife Fund)
Guatemala Pacific Mahi-Mahi FIP (CeDePesca)
Panama Pacific Mahi-Mahi FIP (CeDePesca)
Panama Yellowfin Tuna FIP (Panalang/CeDePesca)
Peru Mahi Mahi FIP (World Wildlife Fund)
For the full list of fisheries in need of improvements and their sustainability status, progress of the FIPs, and improvement recommendations, please click here.
Improvement Needs and Recommendations:
1. Formal adoption of biological reference points for the target tuna and mahi stocks and for the key bycatch species (e.g., sharks, billfish), together with harvest control rules for each target tuna and mahi stock.
2. Mandatory and standardized data collection and observers program with a minimum coverage of 20% of the longline fishing operations to document bycatch and discards of ETP species, including sharks, turtles, and other non-target species.
3. Control the 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.
The SR prioritizes the following fisheries for the initiation of FIPs:
Current Objectives and Action Recommendations for Suppliers:
SFP’s objective for this SR is that, by 2020, 75 percent or more of the EPO tuna and other EPO large pelagics (EPOLP) are in a FIP that is making progress, if the fishery has not already been certified sustainable.
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.
2. Communicate to IATTC that the mahi-mahi stock assessment needs to be completed and published as soon as possible.
3. Develop procurement specs and best practices guidelines that all members of the SR can agree upon and adopt as formal policy.
4. Request your suppliers to implement the following improvements (as applicable) included in various documents published by SFP on procurement specs and fishing best practices:
- For mitigating bycatch in longline fisheries, adopt hooks sizes and shapes designed for reducing the catch of turtles.
- Set main (mother) lines deeper than 100 meters (most bycatch occurs in shallow waters and the first 100 meters, and most tuna catches occur between 100m and 400m). 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.
Central America Mahi Supply Chain Roundtable
Miami, Florida, US (December 2012)
Boston, Massachusetts, US (March 2013)
Las Vegas, Nevada, US (February 2014)
Eastern Pacific Ocean Large Pelagics Fisheries Supply Chain Roundtable
Miami, Florida, US (June 2015) – The inaugural meeting of the SR, convened to discuss the expansion of the Mahi SR and the fisheries of interest. The meeting reviewed current and required FIPs, fishery improvement needs, and recommendations for future progress.
(see meeting presentation here).
January – March
The 2016 annual meeting was held February 2016 in Miami, Florida. Discussion analyzed relevant fisheries, including progress by RFMO mahi stock assessment, reviewed FIPs progress throughout the region, and explored paths for enhanced sustainability in the EPO. Participants discussed coordination of individual efforts and national-level issues. Chefs Trading presented their traceability system and the AllFIP initiative, a funding scheme (in which Seattle Fish Co. is already a participant) by which they plan to fund specific FIPs in fisheries they source from.
April – November
The SR has supported a series of industry-led efforts to initiate FIPs. Chefs Trading has made positive progress to initiate a FIP for yellowfin tuna and swordfish in Costa Rica, and Marpesca and FUNAPESCA have taken steps to initiate a FIP in Panama covering mahi mahi and yellowfin tuna. SFP provided FIP training to partners and their supply chain; gave technical support; and assisted with the development of white papers, action plans, and MOUs.
The SR meets on an annual basis, but additional meetings can be held at the request of the participants; attendance is by invitation only. Companies interested in becoming participants should email SFP.
If you would like more information about the Supply Chain Roundtable or wish to support it, please contact SFP.