Atlantic Ocean Tuna Purse Seine
Entered MSC Full Assessment: September 2020
FIP Stage: 5 (Improvements on the Water)
Last Updated: November 2020
After working for several years with WWF, OPAGAC—an amalgamation of nine Spanish purse seine tuna companies—entered the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) full assessment process in September 2020. The full assessment process will take approximately one year.
In the tropical waters of the Atlantic, OPAGAC represents 18 purse seine vessels, catching approximately 28% of the region’s total tropical tuna catch. Most of the fleet’s tuna is processed in regional facilities with most of the canned product exported to markets in Europe.
The management measures adopted by the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) have not been effective to maintain the catches of tropical tuna stocks at the agreed levels. As an example, bigeye tuna is currently overfished and overfishing is occurring. There are also problems with data available for some important fleets (e.g. Ghana, Brazil).
The active involvement of FIP Stakeholders, including International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ), Pew Charitable Trusts, AZTI, the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) and the Spanish Secretary-General for Fisheries (SGP), drives improvements against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard.
FIPs provide a step-by-step approach to bring fishery management practices up to the MSC standard. With support from FIP participants and FIP stakeholders, the FIP achieved several important goals that enabled it move into MSC full assessment, including:
We encourage action across the supply chain to support FIP progress. A FIP Participant is an industry member that is part of the seafood supply chain for the FIP product and is actively engaged in supporting the FIP.
PROGRESS AND ACTIVITY
The Marine Stewardship Council uses 28 performance indicators to assess the sustainability of fisheries. The chart represents the percentage of indicators that would likely pass, pass with conditions for improvement, or fail upon the fishery’s full assessment.
Atlantic Ocean Tropical Tuna (OPAGAC) FIP Status
We use a step-wise process to evaluate the fishery’s performance and identify sustainability issues, and then to implement improvements and report results. Want to dive deeper into this FIP’s progress on each of the MSC performance indicators? Visit FisheryProgress.org.
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October 3, 2019
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