Last Update: October 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. The participant list includes:

Afritex Ventures Limited
Anova Seafood
Beaver Street Fisheries
Boston Sword & Tuna
Chefs Trading
Culinary Collaborations LLC
D&E Import LLC
The Fishin Co
Food Import, Inc.
Fortune Fish Co.
Hilo Fish Company 
IncredibleFish
Jana Brands, Inc.
Lotus Seafood
Mical Seafood, Inc.
Norpac Fisheries Export
North Atlantic Inc.
Orca Bay Seafoods
Raw Seafoods
Sea Delight
Seafarers Inc.
Seafood Imports
Stavis Seafoods

Fisheries Covered by the Roundtable: 

The roundtable primarily focuses on all fisheries for yellowfin and bigeye tuna entering the fresh/frozen market. These are typically longline or handline fisheries.

Existing fresh/frozen tuna FIPs include:

Indian Ocean

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)

Western Pacific Ocean

Marshall Islands Longline Bigeye and Yellowfin Tuna Fishery FIP
Cook Islands Longline Bigeye 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
Solomon Islands Tuna Longline FIP 

Eastern Pacific Ocean

Panama Yellowfin Tuna FIP

For more details on progress of these FIPs, please visit FisheryProgress.org. 

Improvement Needs and Recommendations:  

Listed below are the improvement needs required in fisheries management in both the Indian and Pacific Oceans if we are to meet our shared goal of sustainable tuna fisheries, along with our recommendations, and actions, for achieving them.

Improvement Need

Recommendations and Actions

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).

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.

Target and limit reference points need to be formally adopted and implemented for all YFT and BET stocks managed by the RFMOs as well as principal bycatch species.

Influence the RFMOs, through their members and cooperating non-members, to implement target and limit reference points for all YFT and BET target stocks and principal by-catch species as a matter of urgency.

Compliance with all national and RFMO conservation and management measures must be improved and/or better documented publicly.

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.

Collection of fisheries data (e.g., catch and effort) must be improved and data should be provided regularly to national and RFMO administrations.

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.

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).

Request your suppliers to reduce bycatch and/or bycatch mortality through increased implementation of best practice measures (e.g., nylon leaders, circle hooks, bird scaring lines) and monitoring with observers or electronic monitoring.

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.

Better monitoring and enforcement is needed to reduce illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

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.

Above all, request your supply chain to start a fishery improvement project (FIP). For advice on starting a FIP see SFP's Guide to FIPs.

Current Objectives:  

The Global Fresh and Frozen Yellowfin and Bigeye Tuna Supply Chain 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 including:

1.  Identifying relevant tuna fisheries important to SR participants; 
2.  Initiation and implementation of new FIPs;
3.  Engagement with IOTC and WCPFC delegations to positively impact decision making with respect to tuna fishery sustainability;
4.  Ensuring SR participants are informed on developments in tuna sustainability including other NGO work and new and existing pan-industry bodies.

Progress Update: 

2016 

  • 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.

2017 

  • 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. 
  • Introduction to FIP Webinar
  • FIP Quarterly Update (June 2017) – This table provides a summary of fresh/frozen tuna FIP progress for the second quarter of 2017.
  • Tuna RFMO Webinar
  • FIP Quarterly Update (Sept 2017) – This table provides a summary of fresh/frozen tuna FIP progress for the third quarter of 2017.

SR Meetings

The last meeting was held in March 2017, during the Boston Seafood Expo (handoutmeeting notes); participants reviewed and agreed on the 2017 workplan for the roundtable and prepared actions for the IOTC meeting in 2017, while maintaining continued effort on harvest strategies in the WCPO.  

Project Contact: 

If you would like more information about the roundtable or wish to support it, please contact SFP

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