SOUTH SEAS TUNA CORPORATION LIMITED (SSTC) recognizes the need for a policy to end the practice of intentional encirclement of dolphins by purse-seine fishing fleets and to terminate the use of driftnets in fishing operations, as well as the need to eliminate injury, harassment and/or death of marine mammals, seabirds, sea turtles, and other non-target species, and to reduce catches of juvenile tunas, which may occur in tuna fishing operations. SSTC also recognizes the need to reduce by-catch of seabirds and other non-target species during long-line fishing operations.
This policy covers the entire company, as well as the parent company (if any) and all subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide. This shall be official SSTC policy:
SSTC will not engage, process, transship, carry, sell or store seafood products harvested through the use of drift/gill nets in its operations.
SSTC will not engage, process, transship, carry, sell or store seafood products that are caught by intentionally deploying purse-seine nets on or to encircle marine mammals in its fishing operations in any area of the world’s oceans.
For all tuna harvested in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP), SSTC will ensure that the following information and/or documentation is issued to Earth Island Institute’s International Monitoring Program (EII) by the harvesting vessel for each lot of tuna per each fishing trip:
a copy of a written request from the owner of the fishing vessel for a statement from the IATTC, as well as a statement from the government representative and owner of the fishing vessel, certifying that no Dolphin Mortality Limits (DML’s) were awarded to the vessel that year, OR if the vessel was awarded DML’s for that year, a statement from the IATTC certifying that the vessel did not use any of its DML’s during the entire fishing trip during which the tuna was harvested;
a written statement executed by both the captain and the owner of the fishing vessel guaranteeing that at no time during the fishing trip were dolphins chased, nor were any nets intentionally deployed on marine mammals, that no shark finning was conducted by any crew member on board the vessel at any time, and that any sea turtles accidentally caught were released alive and unharmed to the maximum extent feasible;
for purse seine vessels in the ETP, a certification or letter from a government official of the vessel’s flag of origin that the vessel was equipped with no more than two speed boats during the entire fishing trip;
a copy of the captain’s/technicians log book, detailing date, location and time of each net set, duration of each set, amount (approximate) of tuna landed per set, and type of set (brisas, FADS, “black spot”, school, etc.), and vessel stowage plan, detailing amount of tuna placed into each well on board the fishing vessel;
a Tuna Tracking Form (TTF), completed by an IATTC observer on board the vessel during the fishing trip, certifying that no dolphin mortality occurred during the fishing trip; and
a fisheries Certificate of Origin (CFO), completed and signed by a representative of the IATTC/CIAT or government official.
SSTC will exclusively purchase and distribute tuna products only from a fishing company/packer/supplier that has a dolphin-safe corporate policy confirmed and approved by Earth Island Institute (EII).
SSTC does not engage any vessels that incorporate factory trawling, shrimp trawling, or other trawling operations that harm the ecological integrity of the oceans during fishing operations.
SSTC will allow Earth Island Institute (EII) monitors on board all fishing and carrier vessels at any time to observe fishing operations, fish loading/unloading and/or transshipping, or to inspect log books, ship's manifests, mate's receipts, storage areas, interview observers and/or crew members, etc., as well as access to fishing and carrier vessel landing/transshipment sites (ports, harbors, etc.), cold storage facilities, transport vehicles (freezer trucks, etc.), canneries, retail outlets, and any other locations and/or documentation deemed necessary by EII.
SSTC will make a sincere effort to reduce by-catch in its fishing operations by utilizing methods recognized as conducive to by-catch reduction by the FFA, FAO, United Nations, Earth Island Institute and other scientific and environmental organizations. Such methods include the use of larger net mesh sizes, sonar ping devices on nets, release of non-target species while still alive, such as sea turtles, sharks, marine mammals, birds, etc., when possible, as well as other methods.
In the case of long line vessels, SSTC will incorporate effective devices, such as lining pipes, bird bags or tori lines, to safely discourage sea birds from approaching baited hooks, thus working to reduce harm and/or mortality of sea birds, sea turtles, and other non-target species during fishing operations.
To avoid causing injury to or death to marine mammals and other non target species, SSTC will require crews of the company's fishing and carrier vessels to never intentionally set nets on marine mammals and to exercise caution and implement appropriate measures in its fishing operations such as, but not limited to, deploying nets only after marine mammals have been safely driven away alive (without the use of explosives or gunshot) from the fishing area and/or carefully releasing marine mammals and sea turtles alive and not injured, when possible, which may wander into fishing nets.
SSTC prohibits any persons, including captains and crew members, on board its fishing and/or carrier vessels from shooting, harpooning, stabbing, or in any way intentionally harming marine mammals, or from eating the meat of marine mammals or using their flesh or any other body parts as bait, or selling any part of marine mammals (teeth, blubber, meat, etc.).
SSTC prohibits any persons on board its fishing and/or carrier vessels from participating in shark finning operations. Any sharks accidentally caught in nets will be released alive to the extent it is feasible without harm to or loss of human life.
SSTC, its subsidiaries or affiliates worldwide do not participate in, or profit from, nor is the company connected to companies involved in, whaling operations, dolphin drive fisheries, live capture of marine mammals for zoo and aquarium trade, shark fin fisheries, nor the sale, import, export, brokerage of whale/dolphin meat, sea turtle meat/body parts, or shark fins, or the processing of marine mammal body parts, sea turtle body parts or shark fins.
SSTC prohibits buying or selling any tuna that has been caught within nationally or internationally designated marine protected areas where fishing is prohibited, including the 40 nautical mile area of the Galapagos Marine Reserve commercial fishing prohibition zone (Ecuador), Isla del Coco National Park (Costa Rica), and any other similar protected areas.
SSTC stipulates as a condition in all its contracts with fishing companies, packers, brokers, agents and importers that any tuna shipment found to be in violation of its and/or the EII dolphin-safe standards will be rejected with assessment of cost and damages against the fishing company/packer/broker/ agent/importer/supplier, and a repeat of such shipment will result in termination of business.
SSTC will not purchase or process any tuna caught by vessels that are listed by international tuna commissions as IUU (Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated) vessels. Earth Island Institute reserves the right to confirm the legal status of such vessels to ensure that any changes in vessel status are reflected in this policy.
If the policy of SSTC in any way changes from the above listed commitments, EII shall be notified immediately via e-mail, to be followed up by written confirmation.