Sustainability

Tri Marine supporting tuna tagging for scientific research in the Western Pacific onboard its vessels. Data collected helps us improve the sustainable management of this fishery. Photo: SPC
As a fishing company, we believe sustainability means more than just protecting fisheries resources.  It is also about our communities, our fishing heritage, and a commitment to feed a growing population one of the healthiest proteins in the world.   We place a high priority on generating employment and improving the standard of living for our employees wherever we operate.  By investing in regions close to the fisheries resources and establishing strong relationships with local communities and other stakeholders, we create a basis to effectively manage fisheries and to broaden needed protections to our environment.  In order to achieve these objectives, Tri Marine has implemented an industry-leading sustainability policy that emphasizes collaboration with private, public, and non-profit sectors.  We aim to not simply “sustain” our industry and the communities that support it, but to ensure that they thrive into the future we all share.

 

OUR POLICY

To support sustainable fisheries, protect the health of the marine environment, and promote the well-being of coastal communities, Tri Marine:

Bycatch 

Promoting Best Practices

Tri Marine is a founding member of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), a global partnership that includes scientists, most of the world’s leading tuna processors and brands, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Our goal is to undertake science-based initiatives for the long-term sustainability of tuna stocks. This includes the reduction of by-catch and the promotion of ecosystem health.  While the foundation's focus is towards RFMO advocacy and investment into scientific research, ISSF members like Tri Marine also require that their vessels and those of their suppliers follow industry best-practices for tuna fishing.

The US Coast Guard moves in on a vessel suspected of IUU fishing. Tri Marine best practices, vertical integration, and traceability minimize the risk of IUU fish entering the supply chain. Photo: USCG

In addition to voluntary measures like ISSF membership, Tri Marine strives to avoid illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU). We promote sound resource management by enforcing full compliance on all of our owned vessels, as well as our suppliers, with all applicable laws and regulations.  By controlling the entire supply chain from the point of capture through to the sale of the final product, Tri Marine provides a level of traceability and assurance that most suppliers cannot.           

Supplying Responsibly Caught Products

We source and promote responsibly caught products- those from abundant fish stocks, caught in ways that minimize ecosystem harm, and are from areas where fisheries management tools are in place.  Our responsibly caught products are rated by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Green or Yellow, and/or certified to the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) standards for sustainable seafood.   These include:

  • Skipjack tuna caught globally by purse seiners without the use fish aggregating devices (FADs), and by pole and line fishing boats.       
  • Albacore tuna caught off the West Coast of the US by pole and troll fishing boats.
  • Yellowfin tuna from Indonesian waters and the Philippines caught by small artisanal boats using  hand lines.
  • Sardines and squid harvested off the coast of California and Baja California by small purse seiners.

Tri Marine’s own brand, Ocean Naturals, uses only these sources for their premium, responsibly caught products.  

Investing in Collaborative Scientific Research

Effectively managing our fisheries resources depends on good data, such as the number, size, and weight of the target and non-target species we are catching using different gear types, at what rates they are being captured, and where.  Scientists use this information to conduct stock assessments that estimate species health, and advise policy makers on what regulations are needed to control fishing effort at sustainable levels.  In many fisheries, good scientific data is deficient in both quantity and quality. Sometimes, the timeliness of submission to authorities makes the data difficult to act upon.  Tri Marine is taking several steps to address these issues. For example, we are:

  • Working with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) to test and institute digital logbooks for tuna fishing vessels.       
  • Enabling researchers access to our purse seine vessels to develop by-catch mitigation measures.
  • Partnering with SPC and the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) to develop electronic video monitoring on longliners for improved observer coverage.
  • Conducting tuna tagging onboard its vessels to help scientists gather important data on tuna behavior.
  • Voluntarily sharing confidential FAD data with SPC to better understand and manage FAD related impacts on bigeye tuna and other species.

Video_InstallationSatlink

Video camera mounted onboard a tuna longline vessel to record fishing operations and screen shot from video footage recording fishing activities onboard fishing vessel Yi Man 3.  Photo: Satlink.

 

Engaging with Policy Makers to Promote Better Fisheries Management

Tri Marine not only directly supports better science, but we also regularly meet with decision makers to promote sustainable practices locally and around the world. We are involved, engaged and recognized as leaders in assisting the development of sustainable fishery policies and development of best-available scientific practices.

National governments, regional organizations, and each of the five major tuna regional fisheries management organization (RFMOs) establish conservation measures to help avoid overfishing, rebuild depleted fish stocks, reduce impacts on sensitive species, and improve the health of the overall marine ecosystem.  Tri Marine takes an active role in the process by regularly attending RMFO meetings and engaging with the US National Marine Fisheries Service, the Solomon Islands Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, FFA, the American Samoa Department of Marine and Wildlife Resource, the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council and others.

RFMO

Five RFMOs help manage global tuna stocks.  Image: Pew

 

Facilitating Multi-Stakeholder Fisheries Improvement Projects

Tri Marine not only helps to manage existing sustainable, thriving fisheries, but we are also actively involved in improving fisheries that have been over exploited.  We support fisheries improvement projects (FIPs) that bring troubled fisheries to a level consistent with internationally recognized sustainability standards.  FIPs aim to improve the sustainability of fisheries using a collaborative approach that incorporates multiple stakeholders.  Some FIPs have the objective of eventually attaining third-party certification from organizations like the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), whereas others simply seek to address priority issues in a fishery to enhance sustainability.  In any case, FIPs are designed to create measureable change that better ensures long-term sustainability and alignment with the Conservation Alliance for Sustainable Seafood's Guidelines for Supporting Fishery Improvement Projects.

Tri Marine sources from a number of fisheries engaged in FIPs, such as tuna from Indonesia which the World Wildlife Fund is working to improve, and is leading a FIP for longline caught tuna from the Solomon Islands.

Solomon Islands Tuna Longline Fishery Improvement Project: Overview

Solomon Islands Tuna Longline Fishery Improvement Project: Action Plan

Supporting Thriving Coastal Communities

Tri Marine is committed to sustainable development in the communities closest to our fishing grounds. We are committed to helping to ensure that the benefits of the resource are captured by those closest to it.  We have invested in fishing and processing bases that provide important socioeconomic benefits to coastal communities in California, Mexico, American Samoa, the Solomon Islands, and Ecuador.  In all of these areas, we maintain best-in-class employment practices that ensure our team have the wages and benefits that help us and our families maintain a healthy standard of living.  This has a downstream positive impact of supporting local businesses, as well as regional and international commerce.  We also invest in communities through our corporate giving that support youth, education, and health care.

Noro_World_Tuna_Day

Students in Noro, Solomon Islands sing and dance in celebration of World Tuna Day. Tri Marine sister companies SolTuna and National Fisheries Developments, have over 2,000 employees. Photo: SolTuna

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR Activities?

Please contact a Tri Marine expert. You can also contact one of our offices worldwide.