Yellowfin (Thunnus albacares), Skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis) and Bigeye (Thunnus obesus) tunas from the fishing group seiners fleets operating in the Indian Ocean (FAO Area 51.5 and 51.6) are now eligible to bear Friend of the Sea ecolabel. Inpesca SA, Inpesca Fishing Ltd and Pevasa, successfully completed assessment against FOS standard for sustainable and well managed fisheries, as formerly happened for the fleet active in the Eastern Atlantic.
Pevaeche has a responsible fishing policy aimed at minimizing the impact on immature fish and other associated species. Some vessels have installed a “waste fish belt” that makes easier the way out for juveniles or other unwanted species and significantly contribute to reduce discards; furthermore net size are increased and FADs use is reduced. Bycatch is therefore less than 2% of the total: sharks and turtles, if caught, are mostly returned back to the sea alive. Target tuna, Yellowfin, Skipjack and Bigeye are considered to be not overexploited according to the latest stock assessments.
Due to piracy activities in the Western Indian Ocean, FOS approved observer coverage is limited; an issue Pevaeche is trying to solve implementing the use of CCTV, close circuit television onboard. First images are now available so that Friend of the Sea will be able to safely continue monitoring all aspects concerning potential environmental impact of fishing operations.
Pevaeche, whose official website is now online, places sustainability at the core of its business. Paolo Bray, Executive Director of Friend of the Sea, greatly appreciates the company’s efforts to comply with all FOS program requirements and the initiative to deploy CCTVs. “The initiative represents a milestone in fisheries environmental management.”