Industry Responds on Tuna Sustainability Needs: Sea Pact brings funding support to Sri Lanka Tuna Fishery Improvement Project

June 19, 2018

We are excited to share with you a press release from Sea Pact in regards to the Sri Lankan Tuna Fishery Improvement Project!
 

Industry Responds on Tuna Sustainability Needs:

Sea Pact brings funding support to Sri Lanka Tuna Fishery Improvement Project

BARCELONA, SPAIN, June 18, 2018 – Sea Pact, attending The State of Global Tuna Sustainability Seminar at the SeaWeb Seafood Summit in Barcelona, today announces industry funding for a Fishery
Improvement Project (FIP) to reduce the impact of Sri Lanka’s longline fisheries for yellowfin and bigeye
tuna and swordfish on endangered, threatened and protected (ETP) non-target species.
 
“We are heeding the call for industry initiatives and support in collaborative efforts to address tuna
sustainability needs”, said Rob Johnson, managing director for Sea Pact. “This is the first project to be
proactively funded outside of our annual Request for Proposal (RFP) process” stated Johnson.
 
Sea Pact is an innovative collaboration of ten leading North American seafood companies working
together to drive seafood industry sustainability progress globally.
 
As per the focus at the Global Tuna Sustainability Seminar, tuna is an iconic key species across the global
seafood industry and is of critical importance for ocean health and global seafood sustainability. Sea
Pact members are strong proponents of sustainable tuna fisheries to provide sustainable food and jobs
and healthy marine ecosystems. The Sri Lanka longline tuna fishery has relevance in all Sea Pact member
companies supply chains, therefore this purposeful engagement to drive impactful change.
 
The project will introduce a crew-based observer program on 30 Sri Lankan longline vessels to respond
to the problem of inadequate information and data regarding ETP species discarded from Sri Lanka’s
longline tuna fishery. The catch monitoring system currently in place uses paper logbooks to record
information about the target and non-target species caught and landed or discarded. This method is not
sufficient for the fishery to pass MSC performance indicators, and this will be addressed by training and
supporting fishworkers to record retained and discarded species (including ETP species).
 
This work is part of a wider-scope Sri Lanka tuna fisheries improvement effort being implemented
through the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR) and in conjunction with the Seafood
Exporters Association of Sri Lanka (SEASL). Dr. Steve Creech, director of pelagikos pvt ltd, responsible for designing and managing the FIP states that “the new sri lankan longline FIP is an initiative of the Seafood Exporters' Association of Sri Lanka. The commitment demonstrated by Sri Lanka's leading seafood exporters and Sea Pact's generous support to co-finance a key sub project under the FIP, are already having an positive impact in terms of driving the fishery towards sustainability”. The FIP is listed on the fisheryprogress.org website here: https://fisheryprogress.org/fip-profile/srilanka-
tuna-and-swordfish-longline.
 
“We look forward to working with all the different stakeholders on this project and helping drive
industry change on tuna sustainability forward” says Hamish Walker, chief operating officer of Seattle
Fish Co., and chair of the Sea Pact Advisory Council.
 
About Sea Pact:
Sea Pact is a partnership of ten like-minded, leading seafood distributors across North America: Albion
Farms & Fisheries in Vancouver, Fortune Fish & Gourmet in Chicago, Ipswich Shellfish Group in Boston,
Santa Monica Seafood in Los Angeles, Seacore Seafood in Toronto, Seattle Fish Co. in Denver, J.J.
McDonnell in Baltimore, Stavis Seafood in Boston, North Atlantic Inc. from Portland, Maine and Euclid
Fish Company from Cleveland. These companies are united for a sustainable future and are using their
collective strength to lead by example and drive improvement of environmental, economic, and social
responsibility throughout the global seafood supply chain. Sea Pact receives sustainability council from
non-profit organizations Ocean Outcomes, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, and FishWise, and is a
project under New Venture Fund’s 501(c)3 non-profit status. To learn more about Sea Pact visit their
website at  www.seapact.org and follow on twitter and facebook.
 

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