Leading Taiwanese Tuna Industry Association Commits to Sustainability

Unwavering commitment to fostering best practices

9 April 2024 — Ocean Outcomes (O2) and the Taiwan Tuna Longline Association (TTLA) have announced a new partnership that will improve crew welfare and advance environmentally friendly fishing practices on the region’s independent longline tuna fishing vessels catching albacore, bigeye, and yellowfin tunas in the Pacific Ocean.

The new partnership provides a unique opportunity to engage and drive change across vessels which are part of the TTLA, but which haven’t been involved to-date in sustainability initiatives led by other major companies and their supply chains.

“Our collective aim is to promote environmental best practices and enhance human rights and social responsibility across the entire industry. This partnership is another significant step in making a meaningful contribution to this cause,” said Ho-Tu Chiang, who leads Ocean Outcomes’ work in Taiwan. “It’s a rare chance to mobilize and transform the region’s independent longline fleets, and we are excited about the positive impact this collaboration will have on both the industry and the environment.

The TTLA has over 500 tuna longline members vessels in Taiwan, for whom they arrange operational logistics, facilitate catch reporting and assists in obtaining fishing licenses. As such, it has significant influence within the region’s longline fisheries, and their enthusiastic commitment to advancing sustainability within their fleets is a positive sign of Taiwan’s willingness to support a model of continual improvement.

“Participating in this partnership and its Fishery Improvement Project showcases our dedication to marine conservation and social responsibility, and it will help enhance the market competitiveness of our catch,” said Mr. Yuton Lee, a vessel owner who is a member of TTLA. “Given our role in supporting longliners and meeting international market requirements, TTLA is uniquely positioned to successfully spearhead and execute fisheries sustainability initiatives like this in Taiwan.

As an initial step in the partnership, TTLA and O2 have brought together over 20 progressive ship owners and their independently owned vessels, to form a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) that will assess and address both environmental and social opportunities in the fishery.

A full environmental and social risk assessment of the fishery will happen in 2024 as part of the partnership. Initial conversations between TTLA, O2 and vessel owners have already identified opportunities to leverage the collective voice of participants to advocate for science-based best practice management regulations, as well as the desire to expand wifi access on board vessels for improved crew communications and learnings.

“The TTLA and its members have long been committed to sustainable fishery operations, environmental protection, and protecting human rights at sea,” added Martin Ho, Executive Director at TTLA. “This partnership and its work will ensure we continue to make progress on these commitments, towards improving the quality of life of crew members, marine resource conservation outcomes, and overall fishery sustainability.

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