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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Sri Lanka deepwater "short-line" yellowfin tuna fishery certified
One more tuna fishery and several branded tuna products have obtained Friend of the Sea accreditation.
Following the certification of the Azorean pole and line skipjack tuna fishery in 2006, the Sri Lanka deepwater short-line fishery for yellowfin tuna has now been found compliant with Friend of the Seas sustainability criteria.
Tuna from Sri Lankas Global Sea Foods and Decatrading, and sushi tuna from the Swiss producer Covedis and retailer Manor, have been certified by Friend of the Sea.
According to the certifier, yellowfin tuna in the Indian Ocean is considered not to be overexploited, by FAO (Global Status of Tuna & Tuna like Species, 2007).
The fishery assessed is composed of vessels up to 11 metres in length, deploying an average of 500 hooks per line and operating short 7 day trips. These small vessels short-line fish at depths of 150 metres. Discards are less than 1% as the fishery is much more selective than alternative gillnets and the catch is loaded onboard alive. Tuna catches represent up to 90 percent of total catch, depending on the fishing season. The rest of the catches comprise mainly of swordfish, while the small shark catch represents an insignificant relative contribution to the total shark catch in the area (Management of Shark Fisheries in Sri Lanka, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development).
An onsite audit by an international independent certification body was run at the fishery, verifying the fishing method, discards composition, compliance with national regulation and traceability up to the finished product. All future companies procurements will be monitored independently for traceability via documental evidence and periodical on-site spot-checks.
Consumers and buyers should be informed that longliners selectivity can be strongly increased by optimising factors such as bait species, fishing depth, time of deployment and hooks, comments Dr Paolo Bray, director of Friend of the Sea. Sri Lanka deepwater short lines are selective in species and size and can represent an important alternative to higher impact fishing methods for tuna, such as gillnets. Last but not least, the Friend of the Sea certified tuna comes from producers which are being certified also as dolphin-safe.
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South Asia/Sri Lanka