IPNLF, Sea Delight, Prime Seafood spearhead FIP for Brazilian yellowfin tuna fishery

Published on
February 21, 2022
A fishery improvement project (FIP) for a handline tuna fishery targeting yellowfin tuna in Brazil has been launched by the International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF), in collaboration with Sea Delight and Prime Seafood.

A fishery improvement project (FIP) for a handline tuna fishery targeting yellowfin tuna in Brazil has been launched by the International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF), in collaboration with Sea Delight and Prime Seafood.

The FIP’s objective is for the fishery to obtain Marine Stewardship Council certification by 2026.

The FIP includes 87 vessels that land at the ports of Ceara and Rio Grande do Norte State in northeastern Brazil, pulling in an average of 12,500 metric tons of tuna per year, with a majority of that export going to the United States. Those vessels are suppliers of Brasília Teimosa, Recife, Brazil-based Prime Seafood, which recently became an IPNLF member. IPNLF members are expected to implement improvements in at least 75 percent of their one-by-one tuna supply chains by 2025.

Collaborating in the project is Coral Springs, Florida, U.S.A.-based Sea Delight, a frozen seafood importer and distributor. Sea Delight works with one-by-one handline tuna fisheries in order to supply its consumers with sustainable tuna.

“By joining with IPNLF and Sea Delight in this FIP, we continue the Prime Seafood policy of respect and cooperation with Brazil’s environmental legislation on the sustainable development of this fishery and the FIP’s step-wise goals of respect for the ecosystem and the fishing communities,” Prime Seafood President Eduardo Naslavsky said in a press release.

One-by-one tuna fishing is a long-standing Brazilian tradition and a mission of the FIP is to improve the position of this artisanal fishing in the major markets, which in turn will contribute to more sustainable food systems and safeguard livelihoods of fishers and communities, Naslavsky said.

In order to reach a sustainability level in line with MSC certification, the FIP will implement four main objectives. A crew observer program will be created to collect fishery data, especially regarding endangered, threatened, and protected species. The fishery will advocate for the development of harvest control rules for yellowfin tuna to be implemented by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). Lastly, reviews of FIP progress must be discussed with Brazil Secretariat of Aquaculture and Fisheries to encourage participation in the FIP workplan.

“We are very proud to be part of this FIP and to be introducing Brazilian one-by-one handline tuna to the U.S. market,” Sea Delight President Cesar Bencosme said. “We hope that the responsible practices and sustainable management measures being taken will help guarantee the long-term sustainability of the fishery so that we can continue supplying these healthy and delicious proteins for generations to come.”

The progress of the FIP will be updated regularly at FisheryProgress.org.

Photo courtesy of Shane Gross/Shutterstock

Contributing editor/Reporting from Hawaii, U.S.A.

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