Eastern Pacific Ocean Tuna – Transmarina

Fishery Improvement Projects

Eastern Pacific Ocean Tuna – Transmarina

  • Species Name: Albacore (Thunnus alalunga), Yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) and Bigeye (Thunnus obesus).
  • Location/Region: Ecuador EEZ and international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean
  • Gear Type: Longline
  • Volume: 2,880 mt

© Transmarina
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Eastern Pacific Ocean Tuna Longline


FIP Stage: 5 (Improvements on the Water)
Progress Rating: A (Advanced Progress)
Start Date: November 2018
Last Updated: March 2022

Ecuador is a major world player in the tuna industry. The Ecuadorian tuna industry generates 1.2 billion dollars and employs, directly and indirectly, approximately 50,000 people in the country’s coastal region. Transmarina is a company that operates a fleet of four industrial longline vessels that target bigeye tuna, yellowfin tuna, and southern albacore tuna. These species are caught using state-of-the-art technology to improve retrieval of fishing lines and other systems that reduce negative ecosystem impacts. The fleet’s catch supplies the sashimi markets of Europe and Asia.

Critical issues challenging this fishery include the lack of information about where the fleet operates, its level of fishing effort, and its impact on the marine ecosystem.

The active involvement of FIP Stakeholders, including WWF Ecuador, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Fisheries, Industrial fishing associations, National Fishery Institute (INP) and Fishery School of the Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPESPO), and FIP Participants drives improvements against the Marine Stewardship Council standard.

© Michel Gunther | WWF


FIP efforts address governance, fishing practices, and environmental impacts of the fishery so that it can meet the MSC standard. This work is steered by FIP participants and FIP stakeholders and includes:
  • Promoting Best Fishing Practices: Continuous trainings are being conducted with fishermen to promote best practices in handling and release of bycatch.

  • Transmarina and Tunacons are promoting the development of the Tuna National Action Plan.

  • Conducting the first technical analysis on bycatch of the Ecuadorian industrial tuna longline vessels in the eastern Pacific.


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.


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.

Eastern Pacific Ocean Tuna Longline (Transmarina) FIP Status

Initial Assessment

Chart by Visualizer

Implementing Improvements

Chart by Visualizer

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.


The fishery has achieved the following impacts through improved practices and management
  • Design and implementation of the first fishery observer program of its kind. On-board observers covering all vessels in the fleet are collecting valuable information on areas of operation, fishing effort and catches of the fleet.

An artisanal fisherman holds up a Mahi Mahi fish, Ecuador

© WWF-US / Molly Edmonds

Other efforts to promote a sustainable future for Ecuador’s fisheries

August 7, 2018

Another critically important fishery to Ecuador, the mahi mahi fishery, is one of the country’s most valuable artisanal fisheries and products are primarily exported to the United States. To promote a sustainable future for this critical fishery, Ecuador’s undersecretary of fisheries resources, in collaboration with WWF, launched the Ecuador Mahi Mahi FIP in 2010.