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01 December 2017

Memorandum of understanding for new pole and line tuna fishery improvement project signed in Senegal

Alliance-driven FIP will help meet the MSC standard for sustainable fisheries in the region

04 December 2017, Dakar: The Government of Senegal, WWF-UK, Thai Union Europe, Princes Limited, the Asociación Atuneros Cañeros DAKAR TUNA, SENEMER Fishing Industries and TUNASEN signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch a Pole and Line tuna Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) in Senegal. The FIP aims to ensure the fishery will meet the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard, which assesses whether a fishery is well-managed and sustainable.

The FIP will focus on implementing actions that will improve three key areas (healthy fish stocks, minimal and mitigated impact on ecosystems, and effective management of fisheries) and will ensure that best practices are adhered to. It will cover the individual catches of skipjack, yellowfin and bigeye tuna and their bait stock using the Pole and Line method. The FIP participants will work closely with the fishing authorities of Senegal, to improve the governance of fisheries in the region.

Together with WWF-UK, the signatories of the MoU will immediately begin work to develop a work plan to implement the tuna FIP. The work plan will outline the major activities, improvement areas, course of action and key performance indicators that all participants will have to commit to achieve within the five year timeframe of the FIP.

Working with WWF-UK, fishery managers will use tools developed by the MSC to identify and track areas for improvement for the fishery to meet the MSC standard. The MSC Fisheries standard is based on the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries which provides the main guidelines for sustainable fishing, minimising environmental impact and ensuring effective management.

“The Senegal Pole and Line Fishery Improvement Project is an important initiative that, alongside the efforts of other West African nations, is vital to the economic health of the region. Supporting this FIP will allow us to maintain healthy tuna stocks and ensure the long-term sustainability of our fisheries. The Senegalese Government is committed to supporting the required initiatives and looks forward to working with FIP partners on this project,” said Mr. Oumar Gueye, Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Republic of Senegal.

Clarus Chu, Seafood Manager at WWF-UK, said: “This is another encouraging example of the private sector and civil society coming together to help tackle the biodiversity crisis in our oceans, as well as supporting livelihoods in coastal pole and line fishing communities in the region. We look forward to working with the FIP participants to develop a comprehensive action plan to address the key sustainability issues in this fishery.”

Notes to editors

About the Senegal Pole and Line Tuna Fishery Improvement Project (FIP):

The Senegal Pole and Line Tuna Fishery Improvement Project is an alliance-driven initiative to help the pole and line fishery in the region meet the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) sustainability standard. The Senegal FIP is supported by the following organisations:

Signatories of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU):

  1. Asociación Atuneros Cañeros DAKAR TUNA (Eight boats: seven Spanish and one French flagged)
  2. Government of Senegal – Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs
  3. Princes Limited
  4. SENEMER Fishing Industries SA
  5. Thai Union Europe
  6. TUNASEN SA (two boats, Senegal flagged)
  7. WWF-UK

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