Category

Micronesia

Sustainability training conducted for LTFV staff

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Mike McCoy (left) demonstrating to LTFV manager of the captain training program Li Pan (right) the method for using a long-handled line cutter.

On 14 April 2016 consultant Mike A. McCoy of Gillett, Preston and Associates conducted a workshop in Zhoushan, China to train staff of Luen Thai Fishing Venture (LTFV) who train fishing base managers to instruct captains of pelagic longline tuna vessels that are based out of the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Cook Islands. In addition to the LTFV trainers, three longline vessel captains and their crew attended the workshop. The captain training is an activity of Fishery Improvement Projects of the three fisheries, as well as a condition of certification of the Marine Stewardship Council-certified Cook Islands longline fishery for albacore tuna. This train-the-trainer workshop was made possible through the support of LTFV, Anova Foods USA, Norpac Fisheries Export, and The Nature Conservancy, who are participants of Fishery Improvement Projects in these fisheries.

 

 

 

 

The training covered:

  • The importance of avoiding and minimizing the catch and mortality of endangered, threatened and protected species, including sea turtles, whales and dolphins, sharks and rays, and seabirds;
  • Handling and release equipment to be kept onboard, and guidance on prescribed handling and release methods for sea turtles, whales and dolphins, sharks and rays, and seabirds;
  • Overview of government longline rules;
  • LTFV company policy banning the use of gear to target sharks, and banning the retention of sharks;
  • Guidance for proper use of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community/Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency logbook form for pelagic longline fishers;
  • Introduction to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community species identification guide for longline fishers;

 

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Mike McCoy (left) demonstrating the consequences of leatherback sea turtle ingestion of plastic bags, longline captain train-the-trainer workshop in Zhoushan.

 

Seafood companies and associations send joint letter to WCPFC

letter to wcpfcSeafood companies and trade association active in the WCPO submitted a joint letter requesting WCPFC to ensure updated terms of reference are developed for the third Management Objectives Workshop (MOW3), and that every effort is made to ensure MOW3 goes ahead this year, prior to the annual meeting.

In the letter signatories request WCPFC to ensure candidate target reference points and harvest control rules to be developed for albacore, bigeye and yellowfin, in addition to planned continued work on skipjack, for consideration by MOW3 during 2014 and for consideration for adoption by WCPFC11 in December 2014.

Setting target reference points and harvest control is an important step towards addressing crucial aspects of tuna stocks management in the WCPFC as they represent the pillars of setting a harvest strategy for tuna exploitation. To date, the WCPFC has set an interim limit points for Skipjack, Yellowfin, Bigeye and Albacore (LRP= 20% of the equilibrium spawning biomass expected in the absence of fishing) but has not set any target reference points (currently, MSY is the implicit TRP for all species) nor any harvest control rules. Read more below on why reference points and harvest control rules are important.

Among others, the letter was signed by ANOVA and Coral Triangle Processors and Luen Thai Fishing Ventures. The letter can be viewed here.

 

 

Fishing & Living takes part in Industry Alignment Meeting to reach MSC certification

Fishing & Living participated, together with 27 other Marine Stewardship Council client groups and participants of FIPs to the first Meeting on aligning MSC Principle 1 Activities of Bigeye, Yellowfin and Albacore Fishery Improvement Projects in the WCPFC Convention Area (Bangkok, May 21st 2014).

The target of this first meeting was to “initiate discussions between relevant MSC client groups and participants of FIPs to coordinate and align policy activities related to sub-regional and regional management of fisheries for albacore, bigeye and yellowfin tunas in the Convention Area of the WCPFC.”

Points discussed in the meeting were:

1) Overlap of activities across FIP action plans for MSC P1 performance indicators

2) The draft Tokelau Arrangement for the Management of the South Pacific Longline Fishery

3) FFA, PNA and WCPFC management systems and status of the 4 tuna stocks under the scope of the group

4) Guidance on FIPs and the CASS guidelines

5) Chinese subsidies to Longline Fleet in WPCO

6) Electronic Monitoring Systems (i.e. electronic observers)

7) WCPFC delegations preventing the adoption of measures to address MSC principle 1

8) Letter for co-signature by the leads of relevant fisheries in the MSC program and FIPs to be sent to the WPCFC Secretariat requesting that management options for South Pacific Albacore.

The meeting resulted in the formation of the “WCPO Tuna MSC Principle 1 Alignment Group” whose role was summarized as ” to disseminate information and coordinate and align policy activities of relevant MSC client groups and participants of FIPs related to sub-regional and regional management of fisheries for albacore, bigeye and yellowfin tunas in the Convention Area of the WCPFC”. More information on the WCPO Tuna MSC Principle Alignment Group website.

 

Fishing & Living welcomes the MSC Benchmarking tool

Fishing & Living welcome the launch of the MSC Benchmarking tool: “As a company really entrenched in FIPs, to have a tool that we can use to consistently benchmark and track our projects, report on the milestones and gauge FIPs performance is phenomenal” Mark McPherson says to Seafood Source, at the MSC Developing World Conference in Bali, last April.

What is the BMT?

The Marine Stewardship council recently developed and released a Benchmarking and Monitoring Tool (BMT) for FIPs to help fisheries moving towards MSC certification to provide consistent and credible information about the progress of their FIPs to all interested stakeholders. The tools is easy to use and shows progress of fisheries against the MSC Sustainable Fisheries standard in a very simple manner.

The BMT will help improve the reporting and transparency of FIPs. BMT reports should be used by someone with a good understanding of the MSC standards and is involved in the fishery as a coordinator, manager or consultant.

How does the BMT work?

1. Each MSC performance criteria (PI) is given a score (<60; 60-80; >80)

2. Each score corresponds to a BMT score (0; 0,5; 1)

3. The BMT Index reflects the average BMT score and ranges from 0 to 1. As the BMT Index moves closer to 1, the fishery is moving towards all of the PIs being at least at the 80 level.

4. The BMT also provides reporting on the number of PIs that fall in each scoring category (<60; 60-80; >80). This allows users to see where the fishery is in (most) need of improvement and differentiate fisheries that may have the same overall BMT Index.

5. Progress is evaluated against expected outcomes & milestones (as described in the FIP Action Plan)

Current BMT scores of FIPs where Fishing & Living is involved:

 

 

Preparing for Micronesian Tuna Fishery Improvement Program

ANOVA and Luen Thai Fishing Ventures are currently planning to launch a Fishery Improvement Program for the longline fishery of the Federated States of Micronesia, targeting bigeye and yellowfin tuna. The first steps are being made to notify and involve the various stakeholders and build a partnership with the domestic management authority, NORMA.