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.   Tri Marine has implemented industry-leading sustainability policies 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
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OUR POLICY

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

Bycatch 

Promoting Best Practices

Tri Marine is a founding member of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), a global partnership between scientists, world leading tuna companies, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Our collective goal is to undertake science-based initiatives for the long-term sustainability of tuna stocks, including the reduction of by-catch and the protection of ecosystem health.  While the foundation’s focus is toward 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, and meet full compliance with all ISSF conservation measures.

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

Tri Marine sources and promotes 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 as Green or Yellow, and/or certified to the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) standards for sustainable seafood. These include:

  • MSC certified skipjack and yellowfin tuna caught in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) by Tri Marine’s American Samoa based purse seine fleet and sister company National Fisheries Developments’ Solomon Islands based purse seine and pole and line fleet.
  • MSC certified skipjack, yellowfin, and albacore tuna caught by select suppliers from other MSC certified fisheries in the Western and Central Pacific.
  • Green or yellow rated skipjack and yellowfin tuna caught globally by purse seiners without the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs), and by pole and line fishing boats.
  • Green or Yellow rated sardines and squid harvested off the coast of California and Baja California by Tri Marine’s fleet of smaller scale purse seiners. 

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

Protects Worker's Rights and Communities

As a global leader in the tuna industry, we at Tri Marine recognize the responsibility to protect the integrity and well-being of the lives and livelihoods of the people who make up the collective work force of the industry. Tri Marine requires all of its companies to adhere to a strict code of ethics outlined in the Tri Marine Global Handbook , and all suppliers to comply with its Ethical Sourcing Policy to protect against human rights abuses. 

Tri Marine is also an active member of the Seafood Task Force, a unique multi-stakeholder alliance consisting of seafood processors, suppliers, buyers, retailers, government representatives and NGOs who have come together to address issues surrounding labor and illegal fishing in seafood supply chains.

We are committed to sustainable development in the communities closest to our fishing grounds, and 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 all of the areas we operate.

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

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 has taken several steps to address these issues, including:

  • Working with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) to test and institute digital logbooks for tuna fishing vessels.       
  • Providing scientists 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 long liners for improved observer coverage.
  • Conducting tuna tagging onboard fishing 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

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 (PNA), Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (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 supports the certification of sustainable fisheries, but also engages in  improving fisheries that do not yet meet the MSC standards through the establishment and implementation of credible fisheries improvement projects (FIPs).  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 a participant in a FIP for purse seine caught tuna in the Eastern Pacific.

 

Solomon Islands Tuna Longline Fishery Improvement Project: Overview

Solomon Islands Tuna Longline Fishery Improvement Project: Action Plan

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR Activities?

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