Costa Rica, SFP, Chefs Trading teaming up to create new large pelagics FIP

Published on
January 5, 2018

The nonprofit Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) has announced the creation of a new fishery improvement project (FIP) focusing on tuna, swordfish, and mahi fishing in Costa Rica.

Chefs Trading, a Washington, D.C.-based seafood buyer, has stepped up to become the FIP’s principal financial backer, with assistance from other seafood companies operating in the country, including Seattle Fish Co. and Lakewood, New Jersey-based Trinity Seafood.

Costa Rica’s National Chamber of Exporters of Fishing and Aquaculture Products and the National Federation of Fisheries Organizations are highly committed to the development of the FIP, and are already working to publicize ongoing improvements, SFP said in a press release.

“This FIP represents a comprehensive effort in which all stakeholders in country and engaged companies in the supply chain are getting together in an innovative way to advance the sustainability of large pelagics fisheries in the country,” SFP Latin America Fishery Coordinator Enrique Alonso said.

The FIP is being developed within the framework of the National Platform for Sustainable Large Pelagics Fisheries, “an innovative dialogue forum aimed at tackling the main sustainability challenges of large pelagic fisheries in Costa Rica,” according to SFP. 

The platform is driven by all relevant stakeholders involved in the fishery, enabled by the United Nations Development Program, and guided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the Costa Rican Institute of Fishing and Aquaculture and the Ministry of Environment and Energy, SFP said.

In Costa Rica, tuna and related species represent more than 60 percent of the catches within a fishing sector that in 2012 provided around 7,200 jobs nationally, with 23 percent in harvesting, 72 percent in processing, and six percent in distribution of seafood products.  However, currently there are no certified fisheries and no active fishery improvement projects in the country, according to Mauricio Gonzalez, director of the National Federation of Fisheries Organizations.

“Most large pelagics are for the export market, with 95 percent of mahi going to the U.S., so the aim of this FIP is to fulfill the demand of sustainable products while contributing to the fulfillment of 2030 Sustainable Development Goals,” Gonzalez said.

Founded in 2006, SFP is dedicated to rebuilding depleted fish stocks and reducing the environmental and social impacts of fishing and fish farming. It helped develop the Fishery Progress website, which aims to list information for all of the world’s FIPs.

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