Senegal Pole and Line Tuna Fishery Improvement Project officially launches

5 Aug 2019

Alliance-driven initiative has been developed with support from WWF-UK to meet criteria for credible FIPs

5th August 2019, Dakar:  The Pole and Line Tuna Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) in Senegal has officially launched today following development by a multi-stakeholder alliance of WWF-UKThai Union Group PCLPrinces LimitedAsociación Atuneros Cañeros DAKAR TUNA, SENEMER Fishing Industries and TUNASEN.

Aiming to improve the practices of ten pole and line tuna fishing vessels sailing from Dakar, Senegal, the FIP has been designed to drive the fishery towards the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard, which assesses whether a fishery is well-managed and sustainable. It will focus on three key areas, which are: healthy fish stocks; minimal and mitigated impact on ecosystems; and effective management of fisheries. The new FIP will cover individual, pole and line catches of skipjack, yellowfin and bigeye tuna and their bait stock. Participants will also work closely with the fishing authorities of Senegal to improve the governance of fisheries in the region.

WWF-UK has been closely involved in the development of this partnership-driven initiative. The non-governmental organisation (NGO) will continue its involvement as a member of the FIP’s project management team, supporting the newly-appointed FIP co-ordinator Youssef Jaridi, who began his role on 15th July 2019. Working with WWF-UK, fishery managers will use MSC-developed tools to identify and track areas for improvement for the fishery to meet the MSC Fisheries standard. This standard is based on the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, which provides the main guidelines for sustainable fishing, minimising environmental impact and ensuring effective management.

“The world’s fisheries are under more pressure than ever before, but we can find solutions if the seafood industry works together with authorities and NGOs. The establishment of the Senegal pole and line FIP shows leadership and initiative from producers and vessel owners in the Senegal pole and line tuna fishery. This project must be used to develop stock, ecosystem and management improvements that create a sustainable future for tuna in the region,” said Clarus Chu, Seafood Manager, WWF-UK.

“The launch of the Senegal FIP is an important component in reaching our responsible sourcing targets and builds on our experience from developing and progressing the larger Indian Ocean FIP with our partners over the last couple of years,” said David McDiarmid, Corporate Relations Director at Princes. “We are committed to supporting the long-term sustainability and continuous improvement of tuna fisheries, and this latest initiative is testament to what can be achieved through true collaboration and shared goals in the industry.”

Tony Lazazzara, Group Fisheries Sustainability and European Fish Procurement Director, Thai Union, said: “By supporting FIPs, we aim to help conserve marine ecosystems and protect the livelihoods of the millions of people who depend on them. We have made significant progress against Thai Union’s ambitious global tuna commitment, and the new Senegal FIP further reinforces our commitment to sustainable tuna. This is a great example of stakeholders coming together to deliver meaningful and lasting change, transforming the seafood industry in the process.”

The FIP will be registered on www.fisheryprogress.org, where its performance will be publicly disclosed.

More information on FIPs can be found here.