PROSPECTIVE Panama Pacific mahi-mahi and yellowfin tuna - longline

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Overview

What is a Prospective FIP?
Prospective FIPs intend to meet the requirements for active FIPs within one year. These projects are posted on FisheryProgress to help users identify opportunities to support developing FIPs and prevent the start of duplicate FIPs. Prospective FIPs are not yet demonstrating progress toward sustainability.

Bay Hill Seafood, Alfa Gamma, Panalang, Independent Seafood, Tasty Seafood and CeDePesca are developing a Fishery Improvement Project for mahi-mahi and yellowfin tuna with emphasis in Panamanian waters.  During the FIP development stage, CeDePesca will conduct an MSC pre-assessment, provide improvement recommendations, and develop a FIP workplan to address key issues.

Mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) is a highly migratory pelagic species reported in more than 30% of the ocean surface, living mainly in tropical and subtropical areas of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.  It is considered of seasonal occurrence in temperate areas.  Mahi-mahi is a fast-growing predator that lives up to 4 years and can reach a length of 2 meters.  The species is associated with blue waters indicating high concentrations of dissolved oxygen.

While it is assumed that a “Northern-Eastern Tropical Pacific stock” exists, the periods of greater availability of mahi-mahi in Panamanian waters occur during April and May, and again from November through January, under normal oceanographic conditions.  The mahi-mahi fishery that takes place in the Panamanian Pacific depends on seasonal migratory patterns of the species and on the behavior of the market.

Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) is an oceanic, highly migratory pelagic species, distributed in all tropical and subtropical waters, except the Mediterranean Sea. The greatest availability of large yellowfin tuna in Panamanian waters occurs between February and May. This species is regulated under the IATTC convention.

Regarding mangement, the Government of Panama’s Executive Decree No. 126 of 2017 regulated the use of longlines in waters under national jurisdiction.  The rule mandates that the number of vessels or the gross registred tonnage (GRT) authorized for longline fishing shall not be increased; surface longlines shall have a maximum of one thousand (1,000) circular hooks; circular hooks must be at least N°14/0; and longlines must be operated at depths greater than 9 meters.  Regarding monitoring, the rule mandates the obligatory use of fishing logs has been stipulated, and for the implementation of an official Onboard Observers Program for longline fishing by the national fishing authority, ARAP.  However, it should be noted that no timeframe or deadline was set for its implementation and 5 years later (2022), it has yet to be implemented.   Regarding non-target species, the rule mandates that vessels using longlines as fishing gear must carry and use the appropriate equipment to release marine turtles and other ETP species alive.  Regarding fishing effort, a closure period is set for mahi-mahi from August 15th to October 15th each year.

Mahi-mahi and yellowfin tuna tuna catches are mainly exported as fresh gutted or fillets/loins, with the United States as the most important market.

FIP Description 

Bay Hill Seafood, Alfa Gamma, Panalang, Independent Seafood, Tasty Seafood and CeDePesca are developing a Fishery Improvement Project for mahi-ma

FIP Type 
Prospective
FIP Stage 
Stage 1: FIP Development
Species 
Common Name 
Mahi-mahi
Scientific Name
Coryphaena hippurus
Common Name 
Yellowfin Tuna
Scientific Name
Thunnus albacares
Gear Type 
Longline
Location
FAO Major Fishing Area
Area 77 (Pacific, Eastern Central)
Exclusive Economic Zones
Country 
Panama
Geographic Scope 
Panama Pacific
Regional Fisheries Management Organization
IATTC
High Seas Name 
Pacific Ocean
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FIP Leads

Organization Name 
CeDePesca
Organization Type 
NGO
Primary Contact 
Gabriela Mc Lean
Organization Name 
Bay Hill Seafood
Organization Type 
Industry
Primary Contact 
Justin Conrad
Organization Name 
Alfa Gamma Group
Organization Type 
Industry
Primary Contact 
Fernando Álvarez
Organization Name 
Independent Seafoods
Organization Type 
Industry
Primary Contact 
Mike Molina
Organization Name 
Grupo Panalang
Organization Type 
Industry
Primary Contact 
Valerio De Sanctis
Organization Name 
Tasty Seafood
Organization Type 
Industry
Primary Contact 
Charlotte Levine
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.
18143