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