Gulf of Thailand Mixed Trawl Fishery Improvement Project fishery accepted into MarinTrust
Thursday, November 5, 2020
The Gulf of Thailand Mixed Trawl Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) fishery has been accepted into the MarinTrust Improvement Program (IP). It is the first FIP accepted into the IP as part of the multi-species pilot project and is led by the Thailand Sustainable Fisheries Roundtable (TSFR). This key advance will facilitate improvement, enable criteria testing in complex multi-species fisheries and enable marine ingredient producers to demonstrate their commitment to responsibly sourced raw materials.
As demand grows, there is a need to work with and support fisheries that are more complex on a journey of improvement, and the multi-species criteria being tested in this project will provide a framework to measure progress on this journey. The objective of the multi-species criteria is to allow the assessment of very complex fisheries in which hundreds of species are sometimes caught regularly. The criteria have been developed by experts and are based on "best practice" fisheries management as specified in international standards and guidelines, including the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 1992 Convention on Diversity. Biological (CBD), as reflected in the 1995 Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCPR) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with additional contributions from the 2006 regionalization of the code for Southeast Asia (regional CCPR). The pilot project will allow MarinTrust to test the methodology in active fisheries so that it can be refined and ultimately develop a completely robust and realistic set of criteria to eventually include in the full assessment of the MarinTrust fishery.
“Marine ingredients are important to the seafood and aquaculture supply chain in Thailand. We are delighted that the Gulf of Thailand Mixed Trawl Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) has taken another step forward. This progress reaffirms our true intention to promote responsible fishing in the seas of Thailand. Since 2014, we have done our best to ensure responsible sourcing of marine ingredients, including finding a standard that we can use as a reference. This was very challenging as no standard could be applied to complex multi-species fisheries like Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries at the time. We have been blessed to partner with MarinTrust since 2016, when our journey began,” said Vorapong Iamtrakul, FIP Coordinator for the Thailand Sustainable Fisheries Roundtable (TSFR). “On behalf of TSFR, we are very grateful to MarinTrust for their continued support and consultation, the Agricultural Research Development Agency (ARDA) as the primary funder of the FIP development stage, and last but not least the Department of Fisheries (Thailand), which provided essential information and a concerted effort all the time. We believe that our FIP, especially in its implementation phase, will provide useful information for the development of multi-species assessment criteria, as well as a clearer picture of the management of multi-species fisheries, considering their adequacy, suitability and practicality.”
During the process of the Improvement Program and the pilot project, the FIP must meet a series of improvement milestones with determined deadlines, specific to the Fisheries Action Plan, demonstrating positive improvements within the fishery with the final objective of requesting the full approval of MarinTrust once the improvements have been implemented.
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