Develop management advice for yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) in the Indian Ocean

Naunet Fisheries Consultants has been awarded the contract “develop management advice for the Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna that would rebuild the stock in two generations” by the Global Tuna Alliance, an independent group of retailers and supply-chain companies (including supermarkets such as TESCO, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, ASDA or Morrisons) working to ensure that tuna ultimately meets the highest standards of environmental performance and social responsibility.

Landing tuna in The Philippines (Photo by Juan Vilata). The full author’s porfolio can be visited at Alamy [].

Assessing seafood health hazard risks in the supply chain of Senegalese Fisheries

During March 2020, one of our associated consultants (J. Vilata) will take part in a preliminary assessment of factors influencing seafood health hazard risks in the supply chains of artisanal and industrial fisheries in Senegal. This project is encompassed within the wider initiative by USAID Feed the Future, aimed to apply food safety situational analysis (FSSA) of food safety conditions (hazards, risks, drivers, impacts), not just in seafood but in a variety of other basic foods as well (including vegetables, grain, and dairy products).

As a coastal developing country Senegal relies highly on its marine resources. About 50% of the population lives in the coastal zone, and fisheries provide over 75% of their animal protein intake. Indeed Senegal has the second highest per capita fish consumption in Africa (36 kg year−1) (Belhabib et al 2014). Thus, it is of vital importance to ensure that seafood consumption does not involve health hazards to the population.

Landing sardinella (Photo by Juan Vilata). The full author’s porfolio can be visited at Alamy [].

Furthermore, fish processing remains an important source of employment and economic (and food) security. Many fishmongers and local-level fish intermediaries are women. The fish processing for the domestic market is also majoritarily carried out by women (femmes transformatrices de poisson). Thus, traditionally processed fish (such as Sardinella and other small pelagics) is not only a crucial source of nutrients but also a key component of family’s livelihoods along coastal communities.

Braised and salted sardinella (Photo by Juan Vilata). The full author’s porfolio can be visited at Alamy [].


Belhabib, D., Koutob, V., Sall, A., Lam, V. W., & Pauly, D. (2014). Fisheries catch misreporting and its implications: The case of Senegal. Fisheries Research, 151, 1-11. Available at:

Cephalopod fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean

We have just sent our draft report for the assessment of several cephalopod fisheries in the North and Central Atlantic Ocean which is currently being reviewed. The report includes several industrial and small-scale fisheries in Europe and Northwest Africa, including French, Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries, which made our work harder as we needed to gather, read, summarize and translate information from all these languages to the final English version of the report.

Due to its special biological characteristics (short-life cycles and variable growth rates influenced by environmental variability) which make them both potentially susceptible to overfishing but also capable of rapid recovery, cephalopods are difficult to assess and manage. Countries in the area are improving the managament of these fisheries and several management plans have been implemented. However, much more work still needs to be done. A better monitoring (monthly data on catches, effort, biological parameters, etc) of these fisheries would be necessary in order to implement a Ecosystem Based Management for cephalopod stocks. However, despite the importance of these resources for many industrial and small-scale fisheries in the area, there are still large data gaps which need to be investigated, including: reliable species’ identification, adequate definition of target stocks, knowledge of the ecological role of the species, etc. Management measures could then include catch quotas, gear restrictions, closed areas and seasons for protecting spawners and recruitment, deployed flexibly to account for variable abundance, market-based solutions, etc.

For more info please see:

Jereb, P., Allcock, A.L., Lefkaditou, E., Piatkowski, U., Hastie, L.C., and Pierce, G.J. (Eds.) 2015. Cephalopod biology and fisheries in Europe: II. Species Accounts. ICES Cooperative Research Report No. 325. 360 pp.

Pierce, G.J., Robin, J-P., Montero-Castaño, C., Barrett, C., Laptikhovsky, V., González, A.F., Moreno, A., Rocha, A., Santos, M.B., Valeiras, J., Abad, E., Perales-Raya, C., Sobrino, I., Silva, L., Santurtun, M., Iriondo, A., Lischenko, F., Jones, J., Oesterwind, D., Villasante, S., Pita, C., Power, A.M., Allcock, L., Hendrickson, L.. 2020. Assessment of cephalopods in European waters: state of the art and ways forward. Available at:

Day octopus (Octopus cyanea) ready to be sold (Photo: Jose Peiro Crespo)

New year, new clients..

We have started the year working in a variety of projects for old and new clients such as the MBA, the GSSI, WWF and the IFFO. 2020 promises to be a great year for our consultancy with potential new projects in Spain, Ecuador, Sri Lanka or Saudi Arabia. If you need consultants specialized in fisheries and aquaculture development projects, please do not hesitate in contacting us at

Diving into the fisheries world

New projects

We have just finished our project about sustainable fisheries in Sri Lanka and an assessment for the Monterey Bay Aquarium of several squid fisheries in Asia. But work never stops here and we are just starting a new assessment for several octopus fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean, which will keep us busy until the end of the year. So, we are back to our favourite species: common octopus (O. vulgaris).

Gear used by the Natural Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) in Sri Lanka for baby octopus fishing trials undertaken in the north of the country (Photo: Jose Peiro Crespo)
Baby octopus ready to be exported (Photo: Jose Peiro Crespo)

Sri Lanka – Site visit

We have just come back from Sri Lanka where we have met several fisheries stakeholders, including industry, scientific body and government agencies. During this time, we have learnt a lot about fisheries in the country which target a wide range of species, including tuna, crabs (blue swimming crab, mud crab), lobsters, freshwater fish, etc. Fisheries and aquaculture products in the country has a huge potential to target international seafood markets but there are some issues that need to be addressed. We are now preparing a report for our client listing the strengths and weaknesses that we have identified and setting recommendations to improve market access of these seafood products.

Fisherman in a river in Colombo (Sri Lanka) (Picture: Jose Peiro Crespo)

We have also discovered that Sri Lanka is a beautiful country where you feel welcome.

Fishermen catching sardine near Galle (South of Sri Lanka)

Sustainable fisheries in Sri Lanka

We are currently working for the Market Development Facility (MDF) and the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) undertaking an international market assessment of sustainable seafood sources to engage the Sri Lanka seafood industry to move towards premium/niche market segments such as sustainably sourced/socially responsible/equitable seafood. The main objectives of the project are:

  1. Ascertain the revenue and growth potential of sustainability conscious seafood segments of the international market and promote more buy in of this concept from industry players.
  2. Identify suitable brand propositions for the development of a Ceylon/ Sri Lanka international seafood brand;
  3. Provide incentive for the Sri Lanka seafood industry to move towards premium markets to improve revenues and better returns on investments.

We are just finishing the desk-based study and we will visit the country from mid June until the end of the month to meet relevant stakeholders in the country. If you have any interest in Sri Lankan fisheries or sustainable markets, please contact us.

Quality losses in small-scale fisheries in Indonesia and Madagascar

We 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 communities.

Firstly, 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.

MSC pre-assessments of bluefin tuna fisheries in the East Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea

The 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.

In 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.

Project proposals (market studies and fisheries assessments)

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.