Thai Union, Princes, Sapmer, others kick-start FIP in Indian Ocean

A total of 17 organizations club together in a multi-stakeholder, industry-led initiative to improve fishing practices in the Indian Ocean and ultimately help it get MSC-certified.

A number of tuna giants, including Thai Union Europe, Sapmer and Princes, have teamed together to launch a tuna Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) for the Indian Ocean.

The FIP will work towards meeting the fisheries sustainability standard set by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

The FIP will cover the catches of the three most important commercial tuna species -- skipjack, yellowfin and bigeye -- from around 40 French, Italian, Spanish, Mauritius and Seychelles-flagged purse seine vessels.

Achieving MSC standard would provide credible verification of the sustainability of Indian Ocean tuna fisheries, the companies said.

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The confederation of partners comprises representatives of fishing fleets and processors and non-governmental organizations.

The agreement has been signed by a confederation of partners, comprising: Atunsa, Beach Fishing, Compagnie Francaise du Thon Océanique, Hartswater, Inspesca Fishing, Indian Ocean Ship Management Services (IOSMS), Interatun, Industria Armatoriale Tonniera, Isabella Fishing, OPAGAC, Orthongel, OPTUC (ANABAC), Princes; Sapmer; Thai Union Europe, Thunnus Overseas Group, and Tuna Fishing Company.

The multi-stakeholder effort will use the collective power, resources and efforts of the partners to bring about positive improvements to the way these fisheries are managed.

It also has the support and participation of WWF and the government of Seychelles, while the governments of Madagascar and Mauritius have also indicated interest in participating in the FIP.

“This is a very encouraging development towards better tuna fishing and management in the Indian Ocean,” said Tracy Cambridge of WWF.

“The FIP has brought together a huge range of organizations and demonstrates the meaningful impact that a collaborative, industry-led approach can deliver.”

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