were hired by Blue Ventures, an award winning marine conservation NGO to
evaluate post-harvest quality losses in five small-scale fisheries in the Indo-Pacific
area: the reef octopus, mud crab and tuna fisheries in Indonesia, and the reef
octopus and squid fisheries in Madagascar. The final aim of this project was to
identify interventions able to curb quality losses at the first stages of the
supply chain, thus ultimately improving the livelihoods of local fishing
we undertook an in-depth desktop-based review of these fisheries, identifying species
and volumes landed, fishing methods, main fishing areas, key stakeholders, etc.
A value chain analysis (VCA) was later performed for each fishery to identify
post-harvest quality losses at each step of the supply chain: at the moment of
the catch, onboard the fishing vessels, at the landing site, during transport
and at the processing plant.
Based on the study findings, a series
of potential interventions were recommended to improve efficiency and limit the
quality losses in the supply chain of these fisheries, while also taking into
account the social and ecological implications. Finally, a matrix of interventions
was created, rating them from low cost or easy implementation, to high cost or
difficult to implement; and estimating the potential impact of their
implementation on the livelihood of the fishers, in order to prioritize the lower
cost-higher impact activities. The suggested
interventions ranged from basic activities, such as providing training in best
handling practices; to considerable investments at the local infrastructure
level, such as the creation of a series of mid-point storage facilities.
Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus)
is one of the open ocean’s fastest, strongest predators and the largest of the
tuna species, reaching weights of up to
900 kg and lengths of nearly 4 m. Bluefin tuna is a highly prized fish, very demanded
by the sushi and sashimi market in Japan and other countries. The species is targeted
by several small- and large-scale fisheries throughout its range but most of
the catches are taken from the Mediterranean Sea where the species migrates
every year for spawning. The International Commission for the Conservation of
Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) is the organization responsible for the management and
conservation of bluefin tuna (and other tuna and tuna-like species) in the
Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas. Due to the heavy exploitation, bluefin tuna was
considered overfished and in 2006 the ICCAT adopted a 15-year recovery plan for
the species in the East Atlantic and Mediterranean, which included a series of management
measures to recover the species to healthy levels. Although the species is
still considered near threatened (NT) by the IUCN, the Eastern bluefin tuna stock
has improved in recent years and the Total allowance Catch (TAC) has increased
by 60% since 2014.
2018, we were hired by two different Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs),
accredited to carry out Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) fisheries
certification assessments to pre-evaluate two bluefin tuna pole and line fisheries
in the East Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Our first task was to
undertook an in-depth desktop-based literature research and contact relevant
stakeholders to collect all the available information about these fisheries,
identifying volumes landed, fishing methods used, fishing areas, impacts on
bycatch species, management measures implemented, etc. Later, we travelled to
Spain to meet these stakeholders to collect and clarify some of missing/unclear
information. Then we assessed the fishery, scoring each of the scoring issues
under the three principles of the MSC standards: P1, target stock; P2, impact
on bycatch species, habitats and ecosystem; and P3, management. The results of
these pre-assessments are confidential but we found, that although the stock of
bluefin tuna has improved in recent years, a series of management issues need
to be addressed before these fisheries are ready for a full MSC assessment.
During the last two weeks we have been busy preparing proposals for market studies and fisheries assessments in Angola, U.S. and Peru. For some of this projects, the ToRs asked for very specific profiles, such as fish engineers, very difficult to find in Europe. So, if your are a marine biologist or similar, with more than 5 years of experience in fisheries/aquaculture projects and you speak several languages (a good command of the english language is compulsatory but we also need portuguese and french speaking consultants), please send us your CV to the e-mail that appears in our website. We will include your CV in our database.
In recent weeks, we have been collaborating with a NGO in the preparation of the comments for the public stakeholder comments’ stage of the MSC certification assessment of the “Joint demersal fisheries in the North Sea and adjacent waters” . This assessment covers several fisheries previously assessed separately by the MSC, including: CVO North Sea plaice and sole, Danish and Swedish nephrops, Denmark Skagerrak and the Norwegian Deep cold-water prawn, DFPO Denmark North Sea & Skagerrak cod & saithe, DFPO Denmark North Sea & Skagerrak haddock, DFPO Denmark North Sea plaice, DFPO Denmark North Sea sole, DFPO Denmark North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat hake and plaice, Germany North Sea saithe trawl, Sweden Skagerrak, Kattegat and the Norwegian Deep cold-water prawn. The high number of stocks included in this report makes it a very complicated assessment which has required the collaborative work of several consultants and NGO staff working in the different countries covered by the assessment.