Princes is committed to the long-term sustainability of the tuna used in all of our products.

As a business, our tuna sustainability goal is to source all of our tuna from fisheries that are Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified or in a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) with the objective of MSC certification.

As a sustainable business our tuna responsible sourcing targets are:

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To source from fisheries which are in MSC assessment or certified.

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To source from fisheries which are in a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) with the objective to achieve MSC certification.

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What is the MSC?

The MSC is an international non-profit organisation established to address the problem of unsustainable fishing, and safeguard seafood supplies for the future.

The MSC programme meets the highest benchmarks for certification and ecolabelling.

The MSC programme is science-based. It is the only programme of its kind that meets best practice guidelines set by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO) and the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling Alliance (ISEAL).

What is the difference between being MSC certified and being MSC assessed?

In order to become certified, fisheries must go through an assessment against the MSC standard. Assessments are carried out by independent certifiers, not by the MSC.

What is a FIP?

Fisheries that are keen to become MSC certified but do not yet meet the MSC Fisheries Standard may choose to make the necessary improvements to their operations through a FIP. A credible FIP involves four key stages, each with associated tools and support mechanisms.

There are four key steps involved:

  1. Undertake MSC Pre-assessment
  2. Develop an action plan for improvement
  3. Implement actions and track progress
  4. Enter full MSC assessment

Supporting fisheries as they move towards MSC certification involves:

  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Predetermined timeframe
  • Stakeholder training

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To source from fully traceable, independently audited pole and line fisheries.

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To source from fully traceable and independently audited purse seine fish aggregating device (FAD) free fisheries.

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What is pole and line fishing?

A simple pole and a baited hook is used by fishermen to catch tuna one-by-one. This highly-selective technique minimises the chance of other types of fish being caught.

Only 10 per cent of tuna is caught using pole and line globally so there isn’t enough supply to meet global demand.

Princes source pole and line caught tuna from the Indian, Atlantic and Western Tropical Pacific Oceans.

What is purse seine fishing?

Purse seine nets sit upright in the water with their bottom edge held down by weights and their top edge supported by floats. Fishing boats tow the net to surround schools of fish.

Around 60 per cent of all tuna caught globally is done so using the purse seine method. This is an efficient way of catching tuna.

Purse seining can be done free-school or in association with Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs).

What is a FAD?

Many fish species, including tunas, associate with floating objects in the ocean. There are two types of floating objects: natural and man-made.

Man-made floating objects specifically constructed to attract fish, as well as natural objects that are found by fishermen and modified, are called FADs.

They can be anchored or drifting. More than 40 per cent of the annual global tuna catch is caught using FADs.

Princes source purse seine FAD free caught tuna from the Indian, Atlantic, Eastern and Western Tropical Pacific Oceans.

When sourcing purse seine FAD free caught tuna, it must be independently verified and fully traceable for use in Princes products.

How we will achieve our global tuna sustainability goals?

Science Approach

Science led approach

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Fishery Improvement

Fishery Improvement Projects and conservation projects

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Working with our partners

Working with our partners

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Why is a science led approach important?

At Princes we believe that the only way to ensure long-term change and an ongoing commitment to sustainability is through a science led approach. This way our methods are supported by scientific evidence, rather than speculation.This is one of the reasons why we were one of the founders of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), an organisation which under-takes science based initiatives for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of tuna stocks, reducing bycatch and promoting ecosystem health.

Why is the ISSF important? How will they help Princes achieve our commitment?

We contin ue to play a leadership role in the ISSF and recognise that long-term sustainability can only be achieved through a science-led approach. ISSF’s overarching aim is to get all tuna fisheries to a standard where they could pass a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) assessment without conditions.

MSC is an independent non-profit organisation which sets a standard for sustainable fishing. Fisheries that wish to demonstrate that they are well managed and sustainable against the MSC standard are assessed by a team of experts. Tuna products sourced from fisheries that meet the MSC standard and are fully traceable are eligible to use the MSC blue ecolabel on pack.

In our most recent annual audit assessing Princes compliance to ISSF conservation measures, conducted independently on behalf of ISSF by MRAG (Americas) we were assessed as in full compliance.

What is a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP)?

Fisheries that are keen to become MSC certified but do not yet meet the MSC Fisheries Standard may choose to make the necessary improvements to their operations through a FIP. A credible FIP involves four key stages, each with associated tools and support mechanisms.

There are four key steps involved:

  1. Undertake MSC Pre-assessment
  2. Develop an action plan for improvement
  3. Implement actions and track progress
  4. Enter full MSC assessment
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Predetermined timeframe
  • Stakeholder training
To find out more about credible FIPs according to the MSC, please click here

Which FIPs is Princes involved with?

A new fishery improvement project in the Indian Ocean launched in October 2016, though the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between WWF and FIP participants. Princes is one of the founding stakeholders in this project which aims to meet the sustainability standard set by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for the skipjack, yellowfin and bigeye fisheries.

You can find out more on the Indian Ocean Fishery Improvement Project website here

In 2009, we helped found the ISSF, which works closely with some of the world’s top scientists to help improve standards in tuna fishing. We continue to challenge and promote the organisation’s work and standards industry-wide. It remains our view that this can only be achieved through collaboration.

When Princes purchase tuna from large-scale purse seine vessels, they must be registered on the ProActive Vessel Register (PVR). The PVR provides independently validated information of the positive steps vessels are taking in implementing a series of commitments designed to improve responsible practices in tuna fishing. These include mandatory observer coverage and full retention of tuna catch as well as the captain being trained on best practice techniques.

We regularly engage and meet with the fleets that supply us, and support the ISSF’s research, particularly in relation to at sea research. We have encouraged the fleets that supply tuna to us to sign up to the ISSF PVR and to follow all Regional Fisheries Management Organisations rules, the ISSF resolutions and to deploy the new improved non entangling FAD design.

We engage proactively with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and value the role they play in promoting tuna conservation and engaging with the public on these important issues. We work to ensure that our relationships with NGOs are both open and constructive, and look for opportunities where we can collaborate towards achieving our shared goals.

Our Progress so far...

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100 per cent compliant and traceable

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One of the founders of the ISSF

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ProActive Vessel Register

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Leading progress in the tuna supply chain

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Corporate Responsibility

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Fishery Improvement

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Fish aggregation devices (FADs)

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Tuna sourcing progress by ocean

  • OPAGAC multi-ocean FIP

    Launched July 2016, this FIP encompasses all purse seine vessels that are members of OPAGAC fishing the three main tuna species across the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. Further information on the FIP can be found at: https://fisheryprogress.org/fip-profile/atlantic-ocean-tropical-tuna-purse-seine-opagac

  • TUNACONS FIP

    Our two key suppliers in the Eastern Tropical Pacific are involved in a FIP that aims to achieve MSC certification through effective management of the fishery and reducing the environmental impact of its vessels. More information on the FIP can be found at: https://fisheryprogress.org/fip-profile/eastern-pacific-ocean-tropical-tuna-purse-seine-tunacons

  • Senegal pole and line tuna FIP

    Princes sources Skipjack and small amounts of Yellowfin and Bigeye tuna from the pole and line fleet operating from Senegal. Princes is actively involved in the development of a FIP in this area with the aim of improving the management of the fishery. The Memorandum of Understanding for the FIP was signed by a partnership of processors, vessel owners, the Senegalese government and WWF in December 2017. The FIP partnership aims to publish a formal action plan and commence work on the FIP in the first half of 2018.

  • Brazilian pole and line tuna FIP

    Princes sources pole and line tuna from Brazilian partners that are involved in the development of a FIP. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between FIP partners in October 2017 committing to improve fishery management and secure sustainable stocks.

  • Sustainable Indian Ocean Tuna Initiative (SIOTI)

    Princes is a founding member of SIOTI, a partnership of tuna processors, vessel owners, government agencies and WWF. The FIP represents a significant investment by Princes and aims to secure the sustainable management of Skipjack, Yellowfin and Bigeye tuna in the Indian Ocean, with the ultimate goal of achieving MSC certification. All Indian Ocean tuna sourced by Princes comes from an approved list of 43 purse seine vessels – all of which are members of the SIOTI FIP.

    SIOTI was formally launched in April 2017 following two years of development work including a MSC pre-assessment. Updates on the FIP are available at https://fisheryprogress.org/fip-profile/indian-ocean-tuna-purse-seine-sioti

  • Maldives MSC certified Pole and Line Skipjack Fishery

    We source skipjack tuna from the MSC certified pole and line fishery in the Maldives.

    Look for the MSC ecolabel on our relevant tuna packs.

  • AP2HI FIP – Indonesia

    We source pole and line tuna via two suppliers from Indonesia’s AP2HI FIP. The FIP started in 2014 and involves a number of vessel owners, processors and non-governmental bodies from across the region. Further information on the FIP can be found at: http://www.ap2hi.org/?lang=en

  • Pacific Ocean

    Princes sources MSC tuna from the PNA fishery, the Solomon Islands and American Samoa certified fisheries.

    In addition to the AP2HI Indonesian FIP and MSC sourcing already underway, Princes is working with its suppliers in the Western Pacific to either develop further FIPs or offer MSC certified options.

  • New Zealand Skipjack Purse Seine FAD Free Fishery

    We source skipjack tuna from the purse seine FAD free fishery in New Zealand. Some of the vessels operating in this fishery are in MSC full assessment.

General fishery sites

FIP sites

This map details the tuna fisheries within Princes responsible sourcing targets. We are also engaged in scoping work for FIPs relating to other fisheries.
More details will follow in the coming months.