Fishery Improvement Projects

Nachi Katsuura Albacore Longline FIP



The Nachi Katsuura Albacore Longline FIP involves No. 78 Kaiou Maru, an offshore longline harvester that offloads at Nachi Katsuura port in Wakayama Prefecture, and Yamasa Wakiguchi Co., a regional tuna wholesaler. By volume Nachi Katsuura is one of the most significant ports for longline tuna production in Japan, accounting for the largest landings of fresh tuna in Japan. Yamasa Wakiguchi Co., the FIP client, sourced approximately 590 metric tons of albacore tuna from these offshore longline fisheries in 2017-2018, including tuna caught by No. 78 Kaiou Maru. In 2012, an MSC pre-assessment of tuna species targeted by two Japanese longliners was conducted for albacore, bigeye, yellowfin, and pacific bluefin tunas. This pre-assessment concluded that the albacore and yellowfin tuna components of the fishery could be considered “well-positioned for certification” contingent on several key improvements. These include adopting harvest control rules for northern albacore tuna stock, expanding on-board observer coverage to collect information on non-target species such as sharks, billfish, seabirds and turtles, and implementing measures to reduce non-target catches where necessary.

What We're Doing:

  • Facilitated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between tuna fishermen, wholesalers, and NGOs to pursue more sustainable tuna fisheries.
  • Reviewed and updated an MSC pre-assessment previously completed in 2012. The updated pre-assessment completed by O2 identified priority environmental challenges and opportunities for improvement through a FIP.
  • Development of a FIP workplan to address deficiencies found during the MSC pre-assessment, including plans to better monitor and track information on retained species, pilot a traceability system in alignment with MSC traceability/Chain of Custody standards which tracks product from point of harvest to point of final sale, develop a strategy to implement a precautionary management framework, and monitor interactions with seabirds and sea turtles.
  • Convening fishery stakeholders every six months to generate support, participation, and funding, including facilitating matching funds and in-kind contributions, for improvement efforts.

Project Information:

FIP Status: Comprehensive FIP (tracked fully on
Project Launch: October 2017
Location: Nachi Katsuura, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan
Participants: Ocean Outcomes, Yamasa Wakiguchi Co., No. 78 Kaiou Maru
Species: Albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga)
Gear Type: Longline
Volume: 150 mt - No. 78 Kaiou Maru annually harvests 150 mt of albacore. Based on the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) Tuna Fishery Yearbook, 227 Japanese longline vessels caught 12,142 mt of albacore tuna in 2015.
Documents: Pre-assessment / Workplan

For any recent news on this fishery project visit our blog.

This FIP is tracked publically in its entirety on, see the Nachi Katsuura Albacore Longline FIP profile here.

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