The Sustainable Indian Ocean Tuna Initiative (SIOTI) has been jointly established by key governments in the region, major tuna processors, producer organisations and their fishing vessels, with the support of WWF. This FIP is a multi-stakeholder effort, and it’s goal is to support improvement in the management of tuna fisheries in the Indian 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. Sets 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 Indian Ocean under the jurisdiction of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission e.g. FAO Statistical Areas 51 and 57.
Fishing fleet: the fishing fleet currently numbers around forty vessels fishing for, or on behalf of, the FIP participants. The exact nature of the fleet will be clarified as the FIP partnership evolves, and will be assessed in detail during FIP action planning. However, it is recognised that the fishing fleet might change over time if the FIP partnership is enlarged or decreased.
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 - yellowfin tuna.
The Sustainable Indian Ocean Tuna Initiative (SIOTI) has been jointly established by key governments in the region, major tuna processors, producer organisations and their fishing vessels, with the support of WWF.
- 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 the MSC by the end of March 2022.
FIP at a Glance