New Sri Lanka Tuna FIP06 May 2011
SRI LANKA - The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), a non-governmental organisation committed to maintaining healthy ocean and aquatic ecosystems, has announced the formal launch of the Sri Lanka Fisheries Improvement Partnership (FIP).
The FIP brings together resources and expertise to support the Seafood Exporters Association of Sri Lanka in their efforts to meet the international market sustainability requirements.
Sri Lanka is a major exporter of tuna for European markets. However, some of the Indian Ocean tuna stocks are declining as a consequence of high fishing pressure. Companies are working together in the FIP to assure long term supplies of tuna and to maintain the health of the stocks and ecosystems.
This is the first of several future FIPs on yellowfin and bigeye tuna in the Indian Ocean region that together will yield stock level improvements with a common set of expectations and rules for fisheries and markets alike.
Commenting on the launch of the FIP, Seafood Exporters Association of Sri Lanka said: "The Seafood Exporters Association of Sri Lanka in collaboration with the importers of yellowfin tuna in the UK are commencing a FIP initiative with the guidance of SFP to enhance the management efforts of the Sri Lankan tuna fishery in order to ensure the sustainability of its resources for the benefit of Sri Lanka's future generations.
"The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of Sri Lanka has expressed support for improvements via regulations such as banning all forms of purse seining restricting trawling, and adopting measures to curb IUU fishery within its EEZ"
Lucy Blow, on behalf of the UK Industry Participants, said: "We, as responsible buyers of seafood, believe we have a duty to encourage improvement in the fisheries on which we depend. We also know that we can achieve more if we work with other interested stakeholders so, having worked with suppliers in the Indian Ocean for many years and experience of successfully working with other UK fish buyers to address some of the challenges around fisheries, the development of a Fishery Improvement Partnership was a natural next step for us to take. We are very pleased to see the launch of this initiative and look forward to working with our Sri Lankan and other industry partners to identify and develop improvements in the fishery."
Jim Cannon, CEO of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, commented: "In forming the partnership, we aim to encourage supply chain support and collaboration to deliver improvements in the fishery. The Fisheries Improvement Partnership is a way for producers and major suppliers to work together to help fisheries improve, and explain progress to major customers."
FIP Participants include New England Seafood, Seachill, Young's Seafood, Le Lien, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Seafood Exporters Association of Sri Lanka.
TheFishSite News Desk