Indian Ocean tuna - purse seine (SIOTI)

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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, 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.

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 end of 2021.
FIP Type 
FIP Stage 
Stage 3: FIP Implementation
Start and Projected End Dates
April, 2017
December, 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 51 ( Indian Ocean, Western)
Area 57 (Indian Ocean, Eastern)
Exclusive Economic Zones
Comoros (the)
Tanzania, United Republic of
Additional Attributes 
Including overseas territories of France in the Indian Ocean
Country Flag of Vessel 
Country Flag of Vessel 
Country Flag of Vessel 
Country Flag of Vessel 
Country Flag of Vessel 
Regional Fisheries Management Organization
FIP Volume 
243,000 metric tons
Total Fishery Volume 
281,000 metric tons

How is this FIP Doing? uses 28 industry-standard indicators based on the Marine Stewardship Council Fisheries Standard to track FIP progress. Comprehensive FIPs must address all red and yellow indicators, while basic FIPs may address only a subset of indicators.

The first bar below shows a snapshot of the FIP’s current performance against the indicators. The second bar below shows the FIP’s performance against the indicators when it started so you can see how much progress the FIP has made over time. Both bars use the following scale: Red=below 60, Yellow=60-79, Green=80 or higher, Gray=the subset of indicators a basic FIP is not addressing.

25% 39% 36%
Basic FIPs may focus their workplans on a subset of the indicators. This shows the proportion of total indicators the FIP is working on.
This shows the proportion of actions in the workplan that the FIP has completed.
This shows the proportion of actions that are behind schedule, on track,completed, or not yet started.
Behind On Track Complete Future
0% 100% 0% 0%
This shows the proportion of actions specifically addressing red indicators that are behind schedule, on track, completed, or not yet started. This helps users understand the progress the FIP is making on the biggest challenges in the fishery.
Behind On Track Complete Future
0% 100% 0% 0%
FIP Progress Rating 
C - Some Recent Progress

FIP Leads

Organization Name 
Seychelles Fishing Authority
Organization Type 
Primary Contact 
Dr Jan Robinson