This includes establishing 11 new Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) around the world. A FIP is a program to transform a fishery, ensuring sustainable fish stocks, minimized environmental impacts, and improved management of the fishery.
“Tuna is the most readily available source of protein for millions of people around the world, and at least one billion depend on seafood for nourishment or employment. As a leader in the seafood industry, Thai Union has a responsibility to protect tuna stocks for the good of the world,” said Thiraphong Chansiri, CEO of Thai Union Group. “Our substantial investment will transform tuna sourcing for the entire industry and demonstrates our strong commitment to the sustainability of our oceans.”
Thai Union defines sustainably sourced tuna as tuna from fisheries that are either already certified according to the standards of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or are involved in a FIP that is working towards achieving standards required for MSC certification. MSC certification is widely recognized by global experts as the best mark of seafood sustainability.
“Currently only 11 tuna fisheries globally are MSC certified, supplying just 14% of globally landed tuna. Our commitment and strategy will have a positive impact on the entire industry by significantly increasing the supply of sustainable tuna available to the seafood processors, retailers and, ultimately, consumers,” said Darian McBain, Ph.D., Thai Union’s global director for sustainable development.
Thai Union will report on its progress towards its global tuna commitment regularly. Visit http://seachangesustainability.org for more information on Thai Union’s tuna commitment and its wider SeaChange® sustainability strategy.
Thai Union’s new tuna commitment will apply to all of its tuna brands sold around the world, including Chicken of the Sea (North America), Genova (North America), John West (Northern Europe and Middle East), Mareblu (Italy), Petit Navire (France), and SEALECT (Thailand). Each of these brands will be reporting publically on their progress against the 2020 commitment on a regular basis.
Alongside investment in new FIPs, Thai Union has developed a number of other initiatives. Thai Union believes that traceability is the backbone of sustainability and is investing in trials of new digital technology which will improve transparency in the supply chain. With 100% digital traceability, the company can address Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported fishing through tracking, ensuring vessels comply with all regulations and monitoring the labor standards that are in place along the supply chain. This also builds on the significant work already underway to ensure safe and legal labor for those working in the industry.
In addition, Thai Union commits to only sourcing from large-scale purse seiners that are registered on the ProActive Vessel Register. Thai Union will also align all of its global tuna policies and will contribute to academic and scientific research into the effective management of fish stocks. The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) undertakes annual audits to ensure all participating companies comply with ISSF conservation measures, improving the environmental performance, traceability and observation of tuna fishing in international waters.