Southern Africa pole and line tuna fishery goes FoS

Friend of the Sea announces approval of the Global Fish pole and line fishery targeting mainly albacore but also skipjack and yellowfin tuna in the South East Atlantic. Global Fish Pty Ltd has its head office in Cape Town and is the largest trader of Tuna in Africa with a volume of 10,000 m/t. The company has approximately 45 independently owned South African and Namibian registered pole and line, freezer and ice fishing vessels. Depending on the water temperature the local season can start from September/October and ends around June/July. The fishing grounds the fleet operates in are Cape Town, Hout Bay, Namibia and Angola.

Southern Atlantic Albacore and Atlantic Yellowfin fishing mortalities are well within maximum sustainable yield and Global Fish fleet is compliant with recent years’ TACs and recommendations.  Spawning biomass estimates for Albacore and Yellowfin are very close (90 to 110%) to the level at MSY. Skipjack tuna biomass and fishing mortality, according to the 2008 stock assessment, are both within MSY levels.
The pole and line fishing method has negligible bycatch (Global Fish is also Dolphin-Safe approved by the Earth Island Institute). Only recently yellowtail is caught in compliance with permit conditions. If any sharks is caught accidently, it is either cut loose (if too big to bring on board) or it is brought on board, the hook extracted and released. Fishermen attended a course on how to handle wildlife/birds on the vessels. According to the FAO database, pole and line for tuna generates less than 1% discards and Global Fish has implemented a policy of no discard at sea, with everything caught being recorded on logbook.  
Global Fish skippers are aware of protected areas and the fact that they are not allowed to fish in these areas.  Marine conservation awareness information is disseminated through the Fresh Tuna Exporters Association and the Marine and Coastal Management division. All relevant legislation included in permit conditions is issued annually to each vessel, including minimum distance from the coast.  All vessels use VMS system and permit conditions stipulate when they need to switch it on.
The onsite Friend of the Sea audit run by an international certification body has provided confirmation of sustainability and traceability of Global Fish tuna. Following the auditor recommendations, the company has also drafted appropriate principles and criteria to further regulate the already implemented social accountability and energy and waste management.
“The Friend of the Sea audit has been a very important and useful experience for Global Fish” comments Mr Simon Williams.”We are glad our fleet has obtained an approval which was denied to other high impact South African fisheries. This is an important reward to our conservation efforts and lower impact fishing method.”
The Friend of the Sea project expands further within Africa and among the main tuna producers worldwide. The approved South African pole and line fleet joins a number of pole and line and hand line tuna fisheries worldwide having obtained Friend of the Sea approval. “Friend of the Sea and Dolphin-Safe are the most widespread and reliable standards for tuna sustainability worldwide” concludes Paolo Bray – Director of Friend of the Sea and European Coordinator of the Earth Island Institute Dolphin-Safe project.
For more info:
Michelle Bellinger (Director)
Global Fish Commodities (Pty) Ltd T/A ICV Africa
A207 Gate House, South Park, Black River Park, 2 Fir Street, Observatory,
Cape Town, South Africa, 7925
Tel. No. (+2721) 447 6408
Fax. No. (+2721) 447 6419

Paolo Bray – Director

Share On Twitter