Sea Value is a founder and member of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), an organization which undertakes science based initiatives for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of fish stocks (initially tuna), reducing bycatch and promoting ecosystem health. For more information, please visit www.iss-foundation.org
As part of our involvement in ISSF, Sea Value has made significant commitments to better business practices.
Sea Value is committed to a series of principles and standards relating to seafood sustainability. Our procurement process considers whether the fish stocks sourced are certified, endangered, managed and clearly traceable. Only when we are satisfied that a fishery meets our procurement criteria will we assign it supplier status.
The following principles summarize our approach to seafood sustainability.
Fish Stock/ Fishery
Sea Value primarily sources tuna from the Pacific Oceans and Indian Oceans. All of the tuna we supply is purchased in accordance with our strict procurement specifications and sustainability principles.
The majority of the tuna that we buy is skipjack which, due to it being fast growing and highly fertile, is widely considered to be abundant and to have sustainable stock levels.
Smaller quantities of yellowfin are purchased from the Pacific Oceans and Indian Oceans. Sea Value supports the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission’s (lOTC) scientific committee recommendation that catches of yellowfin tuna should not exceed the estimated annual maximum sustainable yield as mandated by the respective RFMO.
Sea Value has continued to support the IOTC and the ISSF to encourage measures that protect the future sustainability of tuna stocks in the Indian Ocean.
Tuna Stock Health
Sea Value encourages the ISSF measure for tuna stock health that all vessels caught tuna (skipjack, yellowfin and bigeye) retained onboard and full retention shall pertain to every fishing trip, in the presence of an observer.
Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing
As an ISSF founder and member, Sea Value has pledged to refrain from transactions in tuna caught by harvesting vessels or transported by transshipment vessels on the IUU Vessel List of any RFMO identified as having engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities. Our traceability scheme ensures we keep this pledge and if product is later found to have come from vessel placed on such a list it shall be recalled from the marketplace.
Marine Protected Areas
Sea Value supports Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) of sufficient size and duration, as determined by sound science, to accomplish clear conservation objectives for tuna populations and the ecosystem upon which they depend. Again, if a closure is mandated by an RFMO through a conservation management measures, Sea Value has only purchased from vessels complying with that measure.
As an ISSF founder and member, Sea Value has pledge to refrain from transactions in tuna caught using indiscriminate large-scale pelagic driftnets.
All of the tuna that Sea Value purchases in caught using either purse seine or pole and line fishing methods. Sea Value does not purchase tuna caught using gill net or drift net fishing method.
Sea Value encourages the ISSF commitment that total catch retained on board except those individuals that are released alive or those whose retention is prohibited by an RFMO Resolution or vessel’s flag state’s national law. Training on proper handling and release of bycatch will occur.
Sea Value has been essential to promoting and executing bycatch, as will active engagement with local fisheries resource management authorities and local and regional scientific bodies. In addition, the vessel skippers will be completed annual training and refresher programs on best practices for shark and turtle handling, school and FAD fishing and bycatch reduction.
Sea Value has pledged to conduct transactions only with large-scale purse seine vessels are those with at least 335 m3 fish hold volume that have 100% observer coverage (human or electronic if proven to be effective) on every fishing trip and observing every fishing operation, unless prevented by force majeure conditions in a particular region.
Sea Value shall conduct transaction with large-scale purse seine and support vessels that have a public policy regarding the use of non-entangling FADs.
Sea Value has not engaged tuna transactions with vessels that are not registered with the RFMO in the region which they are fishing even though regulations require them to be registered. Through our membership at ISSF, Sea Value supports and encourages the use of Unique Vessel Identifiers (UVI) in all tuna fisheries to help eliminate IUU fishing and refrain transactions in tuna from vessels that fail to secure a UVI by May 31, 2011.
Sea Value maintains a credible scheme that traces tuna from capture to store shelf, including; the name and flag of catcher and transshipping vessels, fish species, ocean of capture corresponding to tuna regional fisheries management organization (RFMO) area, fishing trip dates, fishing gear employed, date the company took ownership of the fish and each species by weight.
Our tuna suppliers are monitored through the Earth Island Institute (Ell) international dolphin safe monitoring program which ensures we can carry the ‘Dolphin Safe’ logo on cans of tuna because no dolphins are intentionally deployed or encircled with nets and no dolphins were killed or seriously injured in the nets in which the tuna were caught during the catch.
ProActive Vessel Register (PVR)
As ISSF’s conservation Measures if purchasing tuna from large scale purse seine vessels, for all of trips beginning on or after January 1, 2016, ensure that 100% of those vessels are on the ISSF PVR. Additional supply and tender vessels which are used for maintaining a purse seine vessel’s network of drifting FADs at sea will be controlled and register on the PVR. This conversation calls for all ISSF participating companies to register their controlled purse seine vessels and supply and tender vessels on the PVR.
Sea Value has encouraged all of our tuna suppliers to register large-scale purse seine and supply and tender vessels on the PVR and Sea Value has continued to push forward our plan for increasing purchases of tuna from vessels on the PVR.
Sea Value has not engaged tuna transactions with vessels that transship at sea, whether high seas, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), territorial seas or archipelagic waters. Exemptions will be made in cases where the at-sea transshipments are authorized (as necessary, by all of the following: the vessel’s flag state, by the coastal state where the transshipment took place, and by the relevant RFMO) and the transshipped catch is adequately sampled according to the RFMO science provider. Such exemptions shall be based on a detailed report that will be reviewed and approved by the ISSF Board and announced publically through the ISSF Web Site.