SFP marks one-year Target 75 progress, releases snapper and grouper report

One year in, and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership is marking significant progress on some of its Target 75 Initiative goals. 

Launched at the SeaWeb Seafood Summit in 2017, T75’s main goal is getting 75 percent of the world’s fisheries to be sourced sustainably, or moving towards it, by 2020. The ambitious goal has so far resulted in multiple reports determining the best way to reach those goals in the timeframe. 

“We’re pleased to report a large number of new improvement efforts in many key sectors, including squid, snapper/grouper, fresh and frozen tuna, and octopus,” states SFP in a recent release about T75. 

In the squid sector, “at least” four fisheries have made progress by either joining a Fisheries Improvement Project or making progress on an existing FIP. One squid supply chain, in New England, recently gained the first MSC certification for the cephalopod in the world. 

“Squid Supply Chain Roundtable (SR) participants have been engaged in a number of improvement efforts in recent years, leading to substantial contributions to the sustainability of global squid production,” said Sam Grimley, SFP’s director of strategic initiatives, buyer engagement.  “The analysis conducted under Target 75 enables SR members to monitor the global impact these efforts are having over time, while also providing a roadmap for future improvements to the global squid sector.”

Work also continues in establishing the East China Sea and Yellow Sea Japanese flying squid-trawl FIP. 

SFP has also released some updates in the tuna sector, with two new FIPs in Vanuatu and Japan. Both have shown “significant progress,” according to SFP. 

“T75 has clearly laid out the environmental sustainability challenges in the fresh and frozen tuna sector in meeting sourcing requirements of supply chain members. The scale of needed improvements has focused our SR members’ thinking about large-scale tuna FIPs and has identified the Japanese market as a crucial element in making T75 a reality,” said Tom Pickerell, global tuna director for SFP.

Octopus, as well, has multiple new FIPs “in the works.” At Seafood Expo Global, the SFP announced a new FIP for Mauritania, promoting sustainable octopus fishing. Mauritania has, historically, been one of the largest producers of octopus in the world. 

“The T75 octopus sector report has provided industry with a roadmap to start the sustainability improvement process in octopus fisheries,” said Pedro Ferreiro, SFP’s deputy director, buyer engagement. “This has made industry believe that positive change can be achieved relatively soon, something that has encouraged the willingness for pre-competitive work.”

The latest report from SFP targets the snapper and grouper sector. According to SFP, only eight percent of global production of snapper and grouper can be classified as sustainable or improving. 

“The mostly artisanal and geographically distributed nature of the fisheries requires a co-management approach, which in many countries will require investments in basic fisheries management. These improvements are required at a national level to truly effect change; thus, national-level FIPs may be a key tool,” the report’s authors wrote.

The grouper and snapper fishery will be one of the most challenging fisheries to improve, according to SFP. 

“The low sustainability baseline combined with the challenging nature of these fisheries and aquaculture operations makes this sector one of the most challenging with respect to T75 – in this case, 75 percent is a stretch goal,” said Megan Westmeyer of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. “But with the help of industry we believe substantial progress can be made towards T75 in the next few years.”


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