Last Update: March 2017
The Global Fresh and Frozen Yellowfin and Bigeye Tuna Supply Chain Roundtable (SR) is an expansion of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean Longline Tuna SR. The roundtable has an emphasis on high-quality, line-caught yellowfin and bigeye tuna that enters the market as fresh or frozen product.
The roundtable serves as a forum for companies that are involved in the supply of fresh or frozen yellowfin and bigeye tuna and wish to actively support improvements in fishery management through fishery improvement projects (FIPs). FIPs can address particular improvement needs for specific fleets as well as potential developments in the policies of coastal states. FIPs can also seek to promote changes in policy (e.g., the introduction of harvest control rules) at the regional level through the relevant regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs).
Improvement efforts may include the promotion of best practices for data acquisition, observer coverage, transshipments, bycatch reduction, and the elimination of illegal fishing. FIPs may also promote best practices regarding labor rights.
This roundtable also acts as an umbrella for two other SRs dedicated to fresh and frozen line-caught tuna: the Indonesia Tuna and Large Pelagics SR and the Eastern Pacific Ocean Large Pelagics SR. These SRs continue to function independently but are closely coordinated with this global roundtable.
SFP also provides responsible procurement specifications for tuna buyers and encourages roundtable participants to adopt these guidelines.
Supplier Roundtable Participants:
The roundtable is currently inviting suitable companies to participate in this roundtable. A participant list include:
Beaver Street Fisheries
Boston Sword & Tuna
Culinary Collaborations LLC
D&E Import LLC
Fortune Fish Co.
Hilo Fish Company
Jana Brands, Inc.
Mical Seafood, Inc.
Norpac Fisheries Export
North Atlantic Inc.
Orca Bay Seafoods
Fisheries Covered by the Roundtable:
The roundtable focuses on all fisheries for yellowfin and bigeye tuna entering the fresh/frozen market. These are typically longline or handline fisheries.
Marshall Islands Longline Bigeye and Yellowfin Tuna Fishery FIP
Indonesian Longline Tuna and Large Pelagics FIP (PT Intimas Surya)
Indonesia Pole and Line Tuna FIP (IPNLF)
Indonesia Indian Ocean Longline Tuna FIP (PT Permata Marindo Jaya)
Indonesia Handline Yellowfin Tuna FIP (Fishing and Living)
Handline Yellowfin Tuna Banda Sea FIP (PT Intimas Surya)
Cook Islands Longline Yellowfin Tuna Fishery FIP
Micronesia Longline Yellowfin Tuna Fishery FIP
Philippines Handline Yellowfin Tuna Fishery FIP
Vietnam Longline Yellowfin Tuna Fishery FIP
Hawaii Tuna and Large Pelagics FIP
Panama Yellowfin Tuna FIP
Solomon Islands Tuna Longline FIP
For more details on the sustainability status of the fisheries, progress of the FIPs, and improvement recommendations, please follow this link.
Improvement Needs and Recommendations:
RFMO and stock specific improvement needs and recommendations are made available here.
1. Harvest control rules (HCRs) need to be formally adopted for yellowfin tuna (YFT) and bigeye tuna (BET) stocks by all of the regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs).
2. Target and limit reference points need to be formally adopted and implemented for all YFT and BET stocks managed by the RFMOs.
3. Compliance with all national and regional fishery management organization (RFMO) conservation and management measures must be improved and/or better documented publicly.
4. Collection of fisheries data (e.g., catch and effort) must be improved and data should be provided regularly to national and RFMO administrations.
5. Longline tuna fisheries must reduce bycatch and/or bycatch mortality to levels consistent with global best practice (e.g., of sharks and rays, sea turtles, sea birds, and other vulnerable species).
6. Better monitoring and enforcement is needed to reduce illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
1. Influence the RFMOs, through their members and cooperating non-members, to implement target and limit reference points and effective HCRs for all YFT and BET target stocks as a matter of urgency. See the summary file for the implementation status by RFMO.
2. Request your suppliers to provide evidence of a) compliance with conservation and management measures to their country government and b) their government submission of compliance reports to each RFMO in a timely manner.
3. Request improved data collection (i.e., electronic logbooks) and data reporting to ensure complete and accurate datasets (e.g., catch and effort) and timely delivery to the national and RFMO databases.
4. Request your suppliers to require 100% observer coverage (e.g., via electronic monitoring systems) during transshipment at sea in order to help reduce opportunities for IUU fishing.
5. Request your suppliers to reduce bycatch and/or bycatch mortality through increased implementation of best practice measures (e.g., nylon leaders, circle hooks, birds scaring lines) and monitoring with observers or electronic monitoring.
6. Require your suppliers to adopt a “fins naturally attached” rule for sharks in order to discourage shark finning and the associated misreporting of shark bycatch.
7. Request your supply chain to start a fishery improvement project (FIP). For advice on starting a FIP see SFP's Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs.
The roundtable is dedicated to the improvement of fisheries that supply line-caught YFT and BET to the fresh and frozen markets and will adopt a number of different approaches to promoting effective regulatory policies and best practices.
Generally, the SR works to:
1. Gather intelligence of the main YFT and BET fresh and frozen fisheries globally and share information with participants about environmental and sustainability issues linked to these fisheries.
2. Catalyze FIPs in fisheries targeting YFT and BET for fresh/frozen markets to ensure implementation of RFMO measures and address other sustainability concerns (e.g., bycatch).
3. Expand adoption of the procurement specifications.
4. Influence RFMOs by working with different delegations.
5. Collaborate on the work of the RFMOs.
6. Expand participation to the SR as a global platform for fresh and frozen tuna fisheries improvements.
- The roundtable managed to build a good participation of fresh and frozen tuna buyers after restricting and refocusing its scope.
- The first meeting (via phone call) was conducted on 4 November 2016. Participants were introduced to the supply chain roundtable model and, more specifically, to improvement needs and recommendations for global fresh and frozen tuna sources.
- As a first action, SR participants have signed a letter, drafted by SFP, directed to the Heads of Delegations and the Western Central Pacific Ocean Commission, in which they ask for the immediate implementation of interim limit reference points and target reference points for all key stocks (target and bycatch). The letter will be submitted during the committee meeting in Fiji in early December on behalf of the SR.
- SR participants have also been asked to engage directly with the Head of Delegation to the relevant RFMO (e.g., WCPFC) of their own country and of countries that they buy from, so as to inform them of their concerns relating to more rapid movement toward sustainability for tuna fisheries.
- A document summarizing the main findings and conclusions adopted by the WCPFC during its 13th meeting (December 2016, Nadi, Fiji), has been redistributed among participants.
The next meeting is planned for March 2017, during the Boston Seafood Expo (handout); participants will review and agree on the 2017 workplan for the roundtable as well as prepare any actions for the IOTC meeting in 2017, while maintaining continued effort on harvest strategies in the WCPO.
If you would like more information about the Supply Chain Roundtable or wish to support it, please contact SFP.