As a result of over two years of work in Japan by Ocean Outcomes, Seafood Legacy, and partners, FIPs are beginning to have a positive impact on the water.
The first Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) in Japan, the Tokyo Bay Sea Perch FIP, and the first tuna FIP in Japan, the Nachi Katsuura Albacore Longline FIP, have recently made significant progress in their respective journeys towards sustainability.
As a result of this work, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and fisheryprogress.org awarded both projects an “A - Advanced Progress” rating, which confirms the projects are making publicly-verifiable improvements to fishing practices on the water.
In the Tokyo Bay Sea Perch FIP, the fishery is now;
- Catch sampling to verify the fishery’s limited impact on endangered, threatened, or protected (ETP) species;
- Voluntarily limiting fishing on spawning stocks during spawning season to allow stocks to recover; and,
- Working towards a transition to a maximum sustainable yield (MSY) precautionary management strategy through roundtable meetings with the local Chiba Prefectural government and the national Fisheries Research and Education Agency of Japan (FRA).
In the Nachi Katsuura Albacore Longline FIP, the fishery is now;
- Confirming sharks are not targeted, finned, and any accidentally caught sharks are released alive by cutting fishing lines;
- Confirming that stock status of the other species commonly caught or used as bait (bigeye tuna, yellowfin tuna, and the baitfish Japanese pilchard) are above their respective biologically-based limits, and that the fishery is not likely having significant negative impacts on the populations;
- Tracking the fishery’s limited interaction with sea turtles and seabirds; and,
- Continuing to cooperate with management authorities on development and implementation of more precautionary fishery management objectives.
Both projects, in line with global best practices, are tracked publicly and audited independently on www.fisheryprogress.org.