Eastern Atlantic tuna - purse seine

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Tropical tuna purse seine fishery in the Eastern Atlantic targeting yellowfin, skipjack and bigeye tuna. This area is under the mandate of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), the regional tuna fisheries management organisation (RFMO) in the Atlantic Ocean. This FIP is a multi-stakeholder effort, and it's goal is to support improvement in the management of tuna fisheries in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean so that in the future, consumers can be assured that the purse-seine tuna they purchase has been harvested sustainably. The ultimate aim is to meet the highest standards of sustainable fishing, such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard.

Target species: this FIP will consider the following three pelagic tuna species as the target species: skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis), yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) and bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus).

Fishing methods: this FIP will include the use of purse seines by large (e.g. >60 m) specialist purse seine vessels. Set by these vessels can be made in two different ways: 1. Free-schools: vessels seek (sometimes with the assistance of helicopters) large schools of tuna which are usually fished during daylight. 2. Associated sets: vessels that utilise the natural aggregation of tuna around floating objects to harvest fish. These floating objects can include natural logs (and other large debris), large marine animals such as whale sharks, and around purpose-built drifting FADs.

Fishing area: the fishing area is the Eastern Atlantic Ocean under the jurisdiction of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) e.g. FAO Statistical Areas 34 and 47 including the high seas and tuna fishing zones of Coastal States' waters within these areas.

Fishing fleet: the fishing fleet to be covered by this FIP currently consists of industrial purse seine fishing vessels operating in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean and varying in length from around 50m to 100m.

Note: Currently, Fisheryprogress.org can only track MSC Performance Indicator (PI) Scores for one target species at a time. In the case of this FIP, which encompasses three different types of tuna, PIs will be tracked for the species that is most threatened within the fishery.


FIP Description 

Tropical tuna purse seine fishery in the Eastern Atlantic targeting yellowfin, skipjack and bigeye tuna.

FIP Objective(s) 
  • To form a collaboration between governments, industry and fleets to bring about improvements in the fishery.
  • To address the shortfalls in the stock health, ecosystem health and management of the fishery by meeting actions described by the Improvement Performance Goals (IPGs).
  • To improve the fishery to a point at which it can undergo (and pass) full assessment by a credible, science-based, multi-stakeholder certification programme like the MSC by the start of 2023.
FIP Type 
FIP Stage 
Stage 3: FIP Implementation
Start and Projected End Dates
January 2018
February 2023
Next Progress Report Due 
Thursday, December 30, 2021
Common Name 
Yellowfin Tuna
Scientific Name
Thunnus albacares
Common Name 
Skipjack Tuna
Scientific Name
Katsuwonus pelamis
Common Name 
Bigeye Tuna
Scientific Name
Thunnus obesus
Gear Type 
Purse Seine
FAO Major Fishing Area
Area 34 (Atlantic, Eastern Central)
Exclusive Economic Zones
Equatorial Guinea
Côte d'Ivoire
Country Flag of Vessel 
Country Flag of Vessel 
Country Flag of Vessel 
Country Flag of Vessel 
Cabo Verde
Country Flag of Vessel 
Regional Fisheries Management Organization
Estimated Total FIP Landings 
160,000 metric tons
Estimated Total Fishery Landings 
304,000 metric tons

FIP at a Glance

11% 57% 32%
January 01, 2018
11% 68% 21%
Progress Rating

A - Advanced Progress
Reserved for comprehensive FIPs that have a Stage 4 or 5 result within the past 12 months.

B - Good Progress
A FIP that has achieved a Stage 4 or 5 in more than 12 months AND Stage 3 activity in the last year; OR a basic FIP that has achieved Stage 4 or 5 achievements within the past 12 months.

C - Some Recent Progress
A FIP that has achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result in more than 12 (but less than 24) months but has not generated a Stage 3 result within the past 12 months OR a FIP younger than a year that has never achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result but has completed a Stage 3 activity.

D - Some Past Progress
A FIP for which the most recent publicly reported Stage 4 or 5 result is more than 24 (but less than 30) months.

E - Negligible Progress
A FIP older than a year that has not reported a Stage 4 or 5 result in more than 30 month (but less than 36) months; OR a FIP younger than 1 year that has not reported a Stage 3 activity.

The ratings are currently derived by SFP from publicly available data on FIP websites, including FisheryProgress.org, and are determined using the following methodology: View PDF
C Some Recent Progress
Actions Complete

This pie chart represents completed environmental actions. Non-completed environmental actions may contain completed sub-tasks that are not illustrated here. For more information on environmental action progress visit the Actions Progress tab.

  • Complete
  • Incomplete
Next Update Due FisheryProgress requires a FIP to provide update reports every six months, and two missed reports will render the FIP inactive. If a report is overdue, this date will appear red.
Dec 2021
Target End Date
Feb 2023

FIP Leads

Organization Name 
Key Traceability Ltd.
Organization Type 
Primary Contact 
Kat Collinson
FIP Identification Number The FIP Identification Number is automatically generated by FisheryProgress when a FIP profile is created. While the number itself is not meaningful, they are used by NGOs, academia, and industry to refer to FIPs in a consistent way.