Cook Islands FIP- Timeline



April 2013- FIP Launch and MSC pre-assessment

Luen Thai Fishing Ventures launched the FIP in 2012, starting with requesting a pre-assessment study for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification of the Cook Islands Pacific albacore and Central and Western Pacific yellowfin longline fishery. This pre-assessment was completed in April 2013. ANOVA Food later joined as a second FIP leader in June 2013. The pre-assessment identified 4 units of certification (UoC):

(1) Longline caught South Pacific albacore caught in the Cook Islands EEZ

(2) longline caught South Pacific alabacore caught in the High Seas

(3) Longline caught Western and Central Pacific yellowfin caught in the Cook Islands EEZ

(4) Longline caught Western and Central Pacific yellowfin caught in the High Seas.

The pre-assessment report can be found here 

July 2013- Fishing & Living joins the FIP and conducts Site Visit in Pago Pago American Samoa

The Fishing & Living team made a site visit to Pago-Pago (Am. Samoa) in July 2013 to review data collection processes and fishing practices. The aim of the visit was to get a direct impression from the fishery with a focus on the deficiencies identified in the pre-assessment report. Based on this visit and the pre-assessment, the Fishing & Living team was able to formulate recommendations on how to improve the fishery and meet the MSC standard.

See report of the site visit and improvement recommendations here

September 2013-February 2015: MSC Full Assessment of EEZ Longline Albacore

Given the results of the pre-assessment, LTFV commissioned a full assessment of UoC (1) Longline caught South Pacific Albacore caught in the Cook Islands EEZ by member vessels of the Liancheng Overseas Fishery (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd (SZLC), China Southern Fishery (Shenzen) Co. Ltd and China Fishing Agency Ltd. This full assessment was launched in September 2013 and is scheduled to be finalize in March 2015.

The other units of certification (2), (3) and (4) did not enter full assessment. Until certification is obtained, all 4 units of certification included in the fishery remain in the FIP, lead by LTFV and ANOVA Food. If certification is obtained for UoC (1), this UoC will no longer be considered in a FIP. If certification is obtained for EEZ SP Albacore, this UoC will no longer be considered in a FIP. However, the fishery will be subject to a workplan based on MSC conditions and timelines. The three other UoC will remain in the FIP, aiming for MSC full assessment and unconditional pass.

FIP identity_table3

timeline (2)

February 2014-May 2014: FIP Scoping document and Action plan made public

The aim of the scoping document is to review and summarize the results of the MSC pre-assessment and propose potential actions to be taken for the Performance Indicators that are likely to fail or pass with conditions during a full assessment. A scoping report and funding plan have been prepared and have been released for stakeholder review and commenting. A FIP Action Plan and log frame  have been finalized and released for stakeholder comments.

May 2014- Anova Food LLC and LTFV join WCPO Tuna MSC Alignment group

The WCPO Tuna MSC Alignment group is comprised of client groups of fisheries certified and under assessment against the Marine Stewardship Countil (MSC) standard and or participants of Fishery Improvement Projects (FIP) for fisheries for albacore, bigeye and yellowfin tuna in the Convention Area of the Western and Central Pacific Commission (WCPFC) and other stakeholders.

The Group’s purposes are to: 1) disseminate information and 2) coordinate and align policy activities relevant to MSC client groups and participants of FIPs with an aim to improve sub-regional and regional management systems for fisheries for Albacore, Bigeye and Yellowfin tunas in the Convention Area of the WCPFC.

A report of the meeting can be viewed here.

To visit the group’s website click here.

June 2014- Anova Food LLC and LTFV sign joint letter to WCPFC Secretariat advocating for better management measures

Seafood 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.

The letter can be viewed here.

April-August 2014- Preparation for capacity-building workshop

Materials for capacity-building ‘train-the-trainer’ program were prepared to enable Cook Islands Ministry of Marine Resources staff to conduct longline fisher training, including in: (i) Cook Islands longline rules, (ii) proper completion of Secretariat of the Pacific Community logbook forms, (iii) species identification training, to improve the quality of logbook data, and (iv) handling-and-release best practices for sea turtles, elasmobranchs (sharks and their relatives), cetaceans and seabirds. Training materials are posted here.

August 2014- Initial train-the-trainer workshop convened

On August 28, 2014 a two-hour workshop took place attended by MMR and fishing company staff, and by available longline captains. A second capacity-building workshop is planned in mid-2015. The intent is for MMR and fishing company staff to lead future workshops so that all longline captains of vessels authorized to fish in the Cook Islands waters attend at least one training workshop.

The workshop report can be viewed here.

September 2014 – Traceability Audit for LTFV Cook Islands supply chain

An independent audit of the traceability system in place for the supply chain for the Luen Thai Fishing Venture vessels participating in the Cook Islands longline fishery was completed and a public report can be viewed here.

December 2014- LTFV and Anova Food LLC/Fishing & Living participate in the 2nd WCPO tuna MSC alignment group meeting

A report of the meeting can be viewed here.