South Seas Tuna Corporation Limited has an important role to play in creating a sustainable future specifically to the marine ecosystem from where we entirely depend on the supplies of our main raw material - tuna. We value and believe that the health of fisheries and conservation measures aimed at assuring a long term supply of fish is in the best interests of consumers, the environment, and future generations. We understand the issues associated with tuna fishing and that as a primary processor, our sourcing policy can have an impact on the marine ecosystem. We therefore work proactively with various specialists to ensure we continuously remain aware of any issues which arise over conservation and tuna stocks. We work closely with the relevant management institutions and with our suppliers to ensure they are operating in a way which will help minimize the impact of our operations on the marine ecosystem and contribute to more sustainable fisheries. This commitment is demonstrated through our active membership with Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), Earth Island Institute (EII), International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), Friends of the Sea (FOS) and other bodies. These are internationally recognized global partnerships that keep conservation at the core of its mission and that bring together scientists, the industry and the environmental non-governmental organization community to achieve sustainable tuna fisheries.
Currently, SSTC produces frozen precooked tuna loins from skipjack, yellowfin and bigeye species. We deem it crucial to address sustainability in all aspects of our sourcing and production of tuna loins product. We achieve this through our fully integrated food chain. The following guiding principles are adopted in our sourcing of wild caught tuna and we are independently verified against them to ensure that they are reflected in our procedures and have been complied with.
SSTC commits to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and we fully support the RFMOs championed by it. We do not receive and process endangered or critically endangered species from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
SSTC upholds actions to strengthen fisheries management objectives for the conservation and wise use of tuna stocks and the conservation of their ecosystems, and actively seek to source tuna from well-managed fisheries. In doing so we promote the use of best practice and take the initiative on actions recommended by MSC, EII, ISSF, FOS and other similar bodies, RFMO’s, and competent qualified scientific authorities, working in the industry to achieve their implementation in a timely manner. We also support efforts to protect important spawning and nursing grounds and to rehabilitate critical habitats. Specifically, we understand the role of spatio-temporal marine reserves as a management tool and proactively work to implement them whenever recommended by RFMOs and science. We will not source fish from areas that RFMOs and/or best available scientific information has indicated need protection.
SSTC supports the application of sound science and the preventative approach to strengthen the management of tuna stocks and action to eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. In this, we collaborate with RFMOs on tagging programmes and information sharing to strengthen scientific advice in the management of fisheries. This improves information and management.
SSTC recognizes that tuna fishing can have impacts on the marine environment, including on non-target species. We, as a company that processes tuna product, recognize that these issues are connected to our industry. Therefore, where they are identified by best available science we work proactively with various sustainability bodies and our suppliers to ensure that the negative ecosystem impacts of tuna fishing are minimized through implementation of "best practices" to reduce by-catch, including no-take zones where appropriate, and we encourage others to do so. In doing so, we accept advice from the various sustainability bodies, RFMOs and the relevant scientific authorities.
SSTC also does not receive tuna from fishing vessels/vessel-owning companies that engage in shark finning, does not have a policy against shark finning, or was found to have previously engaged in shark finning within a period of two years after the conclusion of the investigation determining that shark finning had occurred, provided no further incidents had occurred. Additionally, all the tuna processed are caught mainly by purse seining (primarily from the Western and Central Pacific Ocean). All our activities are also monitored by the RFMOs, ensuring that we are only dealing with suppliers in compliance.
By-catch is considered today a major issue in fisheries conservation management. It refers to any fish that is caught during fishing and should not have, e.g. sharks, turtles, etc. By closely working with various sustainability bodies, RFMO’s, and competent qualified scientific authorities, improving best practices (technology, methods), we aim at reducing, if not completely eliminating non-target fish species.
SSTC ensures that the fishing operations comply with national and international laws and agreements and with the stock management and fishing methods covered by the appropriate RFMOs. We are always proactive in seeking information and technical advice from qualified scientific authorities and engaging with concerned NGOs.
We actively encourage fishing operations that minimize by-catch. This has been included in our tuna receipts unloading report submitted to the Secretariat of Pacific Community (our RFMO). We actively promote the presence of on-board observers to confirm implementation of best practices to reduce by-catch and juvenile catch.
SSTC takes the issue of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing with extreme importance. We commit to be fully compliant with the EU regulation on IUU N° CE/1005/2008. IUU is modern piracy, threatening the capacity of RFMO’s to protect fisheries, and the capacity of the coastal countries governments to comply with regulations.
IUU is a threat to the sustainability of global tuna stocks. We do not receive tuna caught by IUU vessels; caught by any vessel not on the authorized vessel record of the RFMO where the fish was caught (unless the vessel is not of a size subject to listing on the RFMO vessel record); caught by any vessel not registered with and assigned a registration number by the International Maritime Organization through IHS-Fairplay (unless the vessel is not eligible for such registration); caught by a purse seine vessel and trans-shipped at sea, whether on the high seas or within any Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), territorial waters or archipelagic waters (except as permitted by ISSF measures); caught by a vessel that is not flagged to a member or cooperating non-member of the RFMO having jurisdiction of the area where the fish was caught; caught by any purse seine vessel that does not have a unique vessel identifier (such as an IMO number or other number assigned for vessels ineligible for IMO numbers); Caught by a purse seine vessel for which the captain has not completed annual training on best practices for school and FAD fishing, by-catch reduction and monitoring, control and surveillance, and data reporting practices, and any further curriculum items included in subsequent years; caught by a purse seine vessel that fails to submit FAD logbooks to the RFMO from which such tuna was caught in accordance with the procedures specified by the ISSF; or caught by a purse seine vessel which fails to retain on board all tuna caught except those unfit for human consumption (as defined by the WCPFC CMM 2009-02). Through our traceability procedure, we ensure no IUU caught tuna is processed in our plant. Being certificated to MCS-COC (Contract Processing and Storage of MSC-Certified Skipjack and Yellowfin Tuna), we have achieved independent recognition in this important area of our management system.
SSTC commits to uphold this sustainability policy is fundamental to our foregoing success. Together, through this commitment, we will create value to our shareholders, our customers, our business partners, and to the community where we operate.