Performance study against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Standard for Sustainable Fisheries - Fishery Progress

 
Performance study against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Standard for Sustainable Fisheries - Fishery Progress
Performance study against the
Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Standard
                for Sustainable Fisheries

                Indian Ocean Longline Tuna Fishery
          Malaysian and Taiwanese Flagged Vessels
                                     Version 3.0

                                     February 2019

                                        Prepared by

                        Key Traceability Ltd. and Jo Gascoigne

    Key Traceability Ltd. Company Registered in England, Number 9730288, VAT No. 257022718
                                   http://keytraceability.com/
Performance study against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Standard for Sustainable Fisheries - Fishery Progress
MSC Pre-Assessment: Indian Ocean Longline Tuna Fishery

Contents
Executive Summary................................................................................................................................. 5
Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ 7
   Overview of the Fishery ...................................................................................................................... 8
Principle One: Sustainable Fish Stocks.................................................................................................. 14
   P1 1.1.1 – Stock Status ...................................................................................................................... 14
       Albacore ........................................................................................................................................ 14
       Bigeye ............................................................................................................................................ 15
       Yellowfin........................................................................................................................................ 16
   PI 1.1.2 – Stock Rebuilding ................................................................................................................ 18
       Yellowfin........................................................................................................................................ 18
   PI 1.2.1 – Harvest Strategy ................................................................................................................ 19
       Albacore ........................................................................................................................................ 19
       Bigeye ............................................................................................................................................ 19
       Yellowfin........................................................................................................................................ 19
   PI 1.2.2 – Harvest Control Rules........................................................................................................ 20
       Albacore ........................................................................................................................................ 20
       Bigeye ............................................................................................................................................ 20
       Yellowfin........................................................................................................................................ 21
   PI 1.2.3 – Information and Monitoring ............................................................................................. 22
       Albacore ........................................................................................................................................ 22
       Bigeye ............................................................................................................................................ 23
       Yellowfin........................................................................................................................................ 23
   PI 1.2.4 – Stock Assessment .............................................................................................................. 24
       Albacore ........................................................................................................................................ 24
       Bigeye ............................................................................................................................................ 25
       Yellowfin........................................................................................................................................ 25
Principle Two: Minimising Environmental Impacts .............................................................................. 26
   PI 2.1.1 – Primary Species: Outcome ................................................................................................ 26
       Striped Marlin ............................................................................................................................... 26
       Blue Marlin .................................................................................................................................... 27
       Swordfish ...................................................................................................................................... 27
       Bait Species ................................................................................................................................... 27
   PI 2.1.2 – Primary Species: Management Strategy ........................................................................... 28
       Striped Marlin ............................................................................................................................... 28
       Blue Marlin .................................................................................................................................... 28

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Performance study against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Standard for Sustainable Fisheries - Fishery Progress
MSC Pre-Assessment: Indian Ocean Longline Tuna Fishery

      Swordfish ...................................................................................................................................... 29
      Shark Finning ................................................................................................................................. 30
   PI 2.1.3 – Primary Species: Adequacy of Information....................................................................... 31
      Striped Marlin ............................................................................................................................... 31
      Blue Marlin .................................................................................................................................... 31
      Swordfish ...................................................................................................................................... 31
   PI 2.2.1 – Secondary Species: Outcome ............................................................................................ 31
      Blue Shark ..................................................................................................................................... 31
      Shortfin Mako Shark ..................................................................................................................... 32
   PI 2.2.2 – Secondary Species: Management Strategy....................................................................... 32
      Blue Shark ..................................................................................................................................... 32
      Mako Shark ................................................................................................................................... 33
   PI 2.2.3 – Secondary Species: Adequacy of Information .................................................................. 34
      Blue Shark ..................................................................................................................................... 34
      Mako Shark ................................................................................................................................... 34
   PI 2.3.1 – Effects of UoA on ETP Stocks: Outcome ........................................................................... 35
      Seabirds ......................................................................................................................................... 35
      Sea Turtles..................................................................................................................................... 36
      Sharks ............................................................................................................................................ 36
      Marine Mammals .......................................................................................................................... 37
   PI 2.3.2 – Effects of UoA on ETP Stocks: Management Strategy ...................................................... 37
   PI 2.3.3 – Effects of UoA on ETP Stocks: Adequacy of Information .................................................. 38
   PI 2.4.1 – Impact on Habitat by the UoA: Outcome ......................................................................... 40
   PI 2.4.2 – Impact on Habitat by the UoA: Management Strategy .................................................... 40
   PI 2.4.3 – Impact on Habitat by the UoA: Adequacy of Information ................................................ 40
   PI 2.5.1 – Ecosystem Status: Outcome ............................................................................................. 41
   PI 2.5.2 – Ecosystem Status: Management Strategy ........................................................................ 41
   PI 2.5.3 – Ecosystem Status: Adequacy of Information .................................................................... 41
Principle Three: Effective Management ............................................................................................... 43
   PI 3.1.1 – Legal and Customary Framework...................................................................................... 43
      IOTC ............................................................................................................................................... 43
      Malaysia ........................................................................................................................................ 43
      Taiwan ........................................................................................................................................... 45
   PI 3.1.2 – Consultation Roles and Responsibilities ........................................................................... 45
      IOTC ............................................................................................................................................... 45
      Malaysia ........................................................................................................................................ 45

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Performance study against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Standard for Sustainable Fisheries - Fishery Progress
MSC Pre-Assessment: Indian Ocean Longline Tuna Fishery

       Taiwan ........................................................................................................................................... 46
   PI 3.1.3 – Long Term Objectives........................................................................................................ 46
       IOTC ............................................................................................................................................... 46
       Malaysia ........................................................................................................................................ 46
       Taiwan ........................................................................................................................................... 47
   PI 3.2.1 – Fishery Specific Objectives ................................................................................................ 48
       IOTC ............................................................................................................................................... 48
       Malaysia ........................................................................................................................................ 48
       Taiwan ........................................................................................................................................... 49
   PI 3.2.2 – Decision Making Process ................................................................................................... 50
       IOTC ............................................................................................................................................... 50
       Malaysia ........................................................................................................................................ 50
       Taiwan ........................................................................................................................................... 51
   PI 3.2.3 – Compliance and Enforcement ........................................................................................... 51
       IOTC ............................................................................................................................................... 51
       Malaysia ........................................................................................................................................ 52
       Taiwan ........................................................................................................................................... 53
   PI 3.2.4 – Monitoring and Management Performance Evaluation ................................................... 53
       IOTC ............................................................................................................................................... 53
       Malaysia ........................................................................................................................................ 53
       Taiwan ........................................................................................................................................... 54
References ............................................................................................................................................ 55
       List of Tables and Figures .............................................................................................................. 56
Appendix A: Table of Scores for each MSC PI ....................................................................................... 57

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Performance study against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Standard for Sustainable Fisheries - Fishery Progress
MSC Pre-Assessment: Indian Ocean Longline Tuna Fishery

Executive Summary
This document presents the results of a preassessment against the Marine Stewardship Council
(MSC) standard for sustainable fishing. The fishery being assessed is the Indian Ocean Longline Tuna
Fishery targeting albacore (Thunnus alalunga), bigeye (Thunnus obesus) and yellowfin (Thunnus
albacares) tuna in the Indian Ocean, fished by Malaysian and Taiwanese flagged vessels. The aim of
the document is to give guidance on gaps that currently exist in the fishery against the MSC
standard. Information from this gap analysis can be used to develop a workplan, which can be
implemented through a Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP). This preassessment only considered
publicly available data and no site visits or consultations with stakeholders were conducted.

The following Units of Assessment (UoAs) were considered in this report:

    1. Albacore tuna caught by Malaysian and Taiwanese flagged longline vessels in the Indian
       Ocean
    2. Bigeye tuna caught by Malaysian and Taiwanese flagged longline vessels in the Indian Ocean
    3. Yellowfin tuna caught by Malaysian and Taiwanese flagged longline vessels in the Indian
       Ocean

Summary of results

The fishery scored well against Principle 1 (P1) for albacore and bigeye tuna except for PI 1.2.2, the
Harvest Control Rule (HCR). However, yellowfin tuna scored poorly for the current state of the
stock, with it being currently overfished (B2015FMSY)
(IOTC, 2016a), and the responsiveness of its harvest strategy (PI 1.2.1). The strategy (i.e. the interim
rebuilding plan Res. 16-01 and 17-01) is not expected to achieve stock management objectives
reflected in PI 1.1.1 (SG 60) with reference points. The harvest strategy is responsive to the state of
the stock and the elements of the harvest strategy work together towards achieving stock
management objectives (SG 60) is unlikely to be met.

The fishery did not score well against Principle 2 (P2) due to concerns with both bycatch species and
Endangered/Threatened or Protected (ETP) species. The lack of comprehensive management
concerning ETP species causes issues. Further issues with the secondary species lower the P2 score.
The fishery must make active efforts to demonstrate it is highly likely that it is not hindering the
recovery of ETP species. This increase in high quality and quantity data would benefit the fishery
immensely across a multitude of indicators across P2.

The fishery scored well against Principle 3 (P3), showing effective management under Malaysian
National management. However, Taiwan did not score as well due to lack of evidence regarding
Fishery Specific Management Systems, decision making processes and compliance and enforcement.
The fishery must make evidence available of working with other flag states and RFMOs to be able to
close out the conditions that would likely face Taiwanese flagged vessels. Taiwan is currently not a
member of the IOTC but complies with all regulations, however, we have not been able to find
evidence of this.

Scores under 60 for all species stocks means that no species are certifiable for P1. All the average
scores for P2 (Ecosystem) do not meet the MSC standard, plus some individual performance
indicators would fail. Weaknesses in Management (P3) indicators exist but the average scores would
be expected to meet the MSC standard.

The table of all scores by PI is provided in Appendix A.

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MSC Pre-Assessment: Indian Ocean Longline Tuna Fishery

Glossary
CCM - Cooperating Contracting Member
CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
CMM - Conservation and Management Measure
CPC - Member and Cooperating non-members
CPUE - Catch per unit effort
EEZ – Exclusive Economic Zone
ETP – Endangered, Threatened and Protected
F - Fishing mortality
FAD – Fish Aggregation Device
FAO – Food and Agriculture Organization
FFA - Forum Fisheries Agency
FIP – Fishery Improvement Plan
HCR - Harvest control rule
HMS - Highly Migratory Species
IUU - Illegal, unreported and unregulated
IATTC – Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission
LRP - Limit reference point
MCS - Monitoring, Control and Surveillance
MSC – Marine Stewardship Council
MSE - Management Strategy Evaluation
MSY – Maximum Sustainable Yield
PIs – Performance Indicators
RFMO – Regional Fisheries Management Organisations
SB - Spawning biomass
SBR - Spawning biomass ratio
SC - Scientific Committee
SP - Spawning potential
SPC - Secretariat of the Pacific Community
SPR - Spawning potential ratio
SSB - Spawning stock biomass
TAC – Total Allowable Catch
TMAC - Tuna Management Advisory Committee
TRP - Target reference point
UoA – Unit of Assessment
UNFSA - United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement
VDS - Vessel day scheme
VMS - Vessel Monitoring System

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MSC Pre-Assessment: Indian Ocean Longline Tuna Fishery

Introduction
This document presents the results of a performance study or gap analysis against the Marine
Stewardship Council (MSC) standard for sustainable fishing (pre-assessment). The fishery being
assessed is the Indian Ocean Longline Tuna Fishery targeting albacore (Thunnus alalunga), bigeye
(Thunnus obesus) and yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) tuna in the Indian Ocean fished by Malaysian
and Taiwanese flagged vessels. The aim of the document is to give guidance on gaps against the MSC
standard that could be improved by a Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP).

There are three principles in the MSC standard:

Principle 1 – Sustainable fish stocks, target fish stocks must be kept at a sustainable level.

Principle 2 – Minimising environmental impacts, the fishery should be managed in a way that
maintains the structure, productivity, function and diversity of the fisheries ecosystem.

Principle 3 – Effective management, the fishery must have a responsive management system in
place and management must meet all local, national and international laws.

Fisheries assessed against the MSC standard are evaluated against 28 Performance Indicators (PIs)
within the three principles. There are six performance indicators for Principle 1, split between two
components, outcome (2) and management (4). Principle 2 has 15 performance indicators split into
three components (outcome, management strategy, information) for primary species, secondary
species, endangered threatened and protected species, habitats and ecosystem. Principle 3 has
seven performance indicators split between two components, ecosystem (3) and fishery specific
management system (4).

Performance Indicators are scored for the fishery based on the MSC specific scoring guidelines. For a
fishery to be certified, the fishery must score a minimum of 60 against all 28 indicators and an
average of 80 across each of the three principles. Performance indicators that score between 60 and
79 will be given a condition to achieve a score of 80 or above within a specific timeframe. After
certification, the fishery will undergo annual audits and will be reassessed every five years.

This gap analysis identifies limitations under these three principles and potential scoring problems
using a simplified scoring sheet. Each component within a principle is considered and the principle is
assessed to which score is likely to be met. Scores are provided in tables for each PI and a summary
of all scores given in the Appendix.

The scope of this fishery includes the following Units of Assessment (UoA):

    1. Albacore tuna caught by Malaysian and Taiwanese flagged longline vessels in the Indian
       Ocean
    2. Bigeye tuna caught by Malaysian and Taiwanese flagged longline vessels in the Indian Ocean
    3. Yellowfin tuna caught by Malaysian and Taiwanese flagged longline vessels in the Indian
       Ocean

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MSC Pre-Assessment: Indian Ocean Longline Tuna Fishery

Overview of the Fishery
As can be seen in table 1 and 2Error! Reference source not found., the Indian Ocean Longline Tuna
Fishery targets mainly albacore tuna, Thunnus alalonga, (74%) but also catches a small proportion of
yellowfin tuna, Thunnus albacares, bigeye tuna Thunnus obesus, marlin, Istiophoridae, swordfish,
Xiphias gladius, sharks, Isurus oxyrinchus and Prionace glauca, and others not recorded. The gear
used is drifting longline. Vessels currently fish up to 39°S from March to October and to 25 °S from
October to December.

                   Species Caught                    MT in 2016               Percentage of Catch

                       Yellowfin                        155.9                             9

                         Bigeye                         124.0                             7

                         Marlin                          33.5                             2

                       Swordfish                         41.6                             2

                         Shark                            4.7                             0

                       Albacore                        1330.6                            74

                    Miscellaneous                       107.2                             6

                          Total                        1797.6                           100
        Table 1 - Annual Catch by metric tonnes in 2016 by the 10 Malaysian longline vessels in the Indian Ocean

                   Species Caught                    MT in 2010               Percentage of Catch

                       Yellowfin                       17,367                            18

                         Bigeye                        36,411                            37

                         Marlin                         5,451                             6

                       Swordfish                       15,171                            15

                         Shark                           448                            0.5

                       Albacore                        21,650                            22

                    Miscellaneous                       1,822                             2

                          Total                        98,977                           100
           Table 2 - Annual Catch by metric tonnes in 2010 by Taiwanese longline vessels in the Indian Ocean

The scope of this assessment includes the Malaysian and Taiwanese flagged fleet consisting of 26 25-
meter longline vessels working the high seas in the Indian Ocean in FAO region 51. Landings (and
export) take place in Port Louis, Mauritius. Mauritius is a regional hub for fishing vessels operating in
the South West Indian Ocean due to its geographical position, conducive port infrastructures and
dry-docking facilities. Tuna fishing longliners mainly targeting temperate tunas regularly call at the
Port Louis harbour with approximately 600 calls yearly for unloading and transhipment of tuna.

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The longline vessels are monitored through the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). All vessels calling
at Port Louis are monitored through Port State Control Measures as per the Food and Agriculture
Organisaiton (FAO) model. Transhipment activities carried out by longline vessels are also
monitored. During 2015, 52 586 tonnes of tuna were transhipped at Port Louis harbour by longline
vessels, out of which 40% is albacore tuna. Current information on high seas transhipment has not
been recorded.

A total of around 50,000 tonnes (t) of tuna and tuna associated species was transhipped by
longliners and purse seiners at Port Louis in 2015. The amount of albacore tuna transhipped is
increasing over time, and albacore is the predominant species being transhipped by longliners.

Vessels in the UoA are flagged to Malaysia and Taiwan so are under their direct fishery management.
Malaysian tuna longline vessels started to operate in the Indian Ocean in 2003. From 15 tuna
longline vessels in 2003, the number gradually increased to 58 vessels in 2010. However, in 2011,
the number of active tuna longline vessels dropped drastically to 7 vessels due to a management
problem faced by the vessel company. From 2012, the fleet of 5 longline vessels from this fishing
company started to operate by targeting albacore tuna. These vessels are crewed by 17 people
spending up to four months at sea making use of high seas transhipment, normally around 30
tonnes per transhipment, which is then taken to Port Louis to be shipped to Thailand for processing,
then shipment to the USA. Albacore fishing is split into two catch seasons, namely February
(summer) and November (winter) as can be identified in the diagram below (Figure 2). The
specifications of longliner, Kha Yang, 1 and cargo freezer, Kha Yang 333, can be seen below in table
3. Bait is from a South African sardine fishery (Sardinops sagax).

                    Vessel                        Kha Yang 1                        Kha Yang 333

                     Gear                      Drifting Longline                    Cargo Freezer

                 Identifiers                     IOTC: 13378                         IOTC: 16138
                                                 TUVI: 19760                         TUVI: 37997
                                                IMO: 8682749                        IMO: 5500691

                   Country                         Malaysia                            Malaysia

                     LOA                            26.93m                              64.85m

                     GRT                              117                                   -

                      GT                              152                                 1153
     Table 3 - Specifications of one example longliner and cargo freezer from Kha Yang fishery (IOTC, 2018a, 2018b)

Taiwan, a major distant water fishing entity, is not a member of the United Nations and is ineligible
for membership, but cooperatively participates at the IOTC. Taiwanese distant water fleet’s average
annual production in recent years is around 765 thousand tons, with a value of NT$44.6 billion

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MSC Pre-Assessment: Indian Ocean Longline Tuna Fishery

Fishing by Taiwanese longliners is managed by the Taiwanese Fishing Agency. Taiwan started
longline fishing in the Indian Ocean in the late 1960s, targeting primarily fish for canning. The catch
increased to 20 000 tonnes in the early 1980s. The albacore catch of 2001 of Taiwanese longliners in
the Indian Ocean was estimated as 26,000 MT, increased by about 4,000 MT from years 1999 and
2000. The bigeye tuna catch was estimated as 37,000 MT, the same level of 1999. The yellowfin tuna
catch was slightly increased about 1,000 MT from previous years and was estimated at about 19,000
MT. For swordfish, however, the 2001 catch was decreased to 12,000 MT, which is the lowest catch
since swordfish has become a seasonal target species during early 1990s. The Agency, distant water
fishery, actively participates in various international fisheries organisations. The Agency has a Deep-
Sea Fisheries Division and Deep-Sea Fishery Research and Development Centre directly related to
distant water management. However, licensing is managed by Fisheries Regulation Division
(https://www.fa.gov.tw/en/).

Gear Type

The fishery uses pelagic longline fishing gear. Pelagic longlines are made up of a long main line, with
baited hooks attached at intervals by branch lines. The line is suspended in the water column by
floats at the surface. Fishers can set different numbers of hooks between floats and use
longer/shorter float lines to fish at different depths, thereby targeting different species (Figure 2).

                           Figure 1- Diagram of longline fishing (goodfishproject.com)

Fisheries Management

The United Nations Straddling and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks Agreement (1995) dictates that the
management of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks should be carried out through Regional
Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs). RFMOs are the only legally mandated fishery
management body on the high seas and within EEZ waters. There are currently 18 RFMOs
(www.fao.org) that cover nearly all the world’s waters. Member countries must abide by the
management measures set forth by individual RFMOs to fish in their waters (Cullis-Suzuki and Pauly,
2010).

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MSC Pre-Assessment: Indian Ocean Longline Tuna Fishery

The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC, 2018c) is the RFMO intergovernmental organisation
responsible for the management of tuna and tuna-like species in the Indian Ocean. It works to
achieve this by promoting cooperation among its Contracting Parties (Members) and Cooperating
Non-Contracting Parties to ensure the conservation and appropriate utilisation of fish stocks and
encouraging the sustainable development of fisheries. The Commission has four key functions and
responsibilities which enable it to achieve its objectives. They are drawn from the United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and are:

    •   To keep under review the conditions and trends of the stocks and to gather, analyse and
        disseminate scientific information, catch and effort statistics and other data relevant to the
        conservation and management of the stocks and to fisheries based on the stocks;

    •   To encourage, recommend, and coordinate research and development activities in respect
        of the stocks and fisheries covered by the IOTC, and such other activities as the Commission
        may decide appropriate, such as transfer of technology, training and enhancement, having
        due regard to the need to ensure the equitable participation of Members of the Commission
        in the fisheries and the special interests and needs of Members in the region that are
        developing countries;

    •   To adopt – based on scientific evidence – Conservation and Management Measures (CMM)
        to ensure the conservation of the stocks covered by the Agreement and to promote the
        objective of their optimum utilisation throughout the Area;

    •   To keep under review the economic and social aspects of the fisheries based on the stocks
        covered by the Agreement bearing in mind the interests of developing coastal States.

Management measures in place under the IOTC include: required reporting and recording of catches
and effort, providing a record of active fishing vessels, limiting fishing capacity to levels from 2007. In
2013, a resolution was adopted to provide advice on target and limit reference points for albacore
tuna and to utilize management strategy evaluation (MSE) to identify potential management
measures (IOTC 2013). In addition, the Commission formed a Technical Committee on Management
Procedure to enhance decision making response of the Commission (IOTC, 2016).

The Federal Department of Fisheries (DOF) Malaysia, with its Headquarters in Putra Jaya, Selangor, is
responsible for the overall management and administration of the Malaysian fisheries. Research is
undertaken by Fisheries Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) headquartered in Penang. The DOF
Malaysia aims to:

    1. To develop a dynamic market-based fisheries industry through creative and innovative
       approaches.

    2. To manage the national fishery resources in an efficient, innovative and environmentally
       friendly manner based on scientific information and good governance.

    3. To enhance the delivery system through skilful, knowledgeable and professional human
       capital.

The Fisheries Act 1985, and the regulations made under the Act provide the legal framework for the
management of fishery resources and aquaculture.

Malaysia has taken measures to reduce the impact of fishing activities on marine environments by
promoting and encouraging the use of “eco-friendly fishing gears‟ as well as introducing various
fishing regulations such as; to reduce by-catch, especially undersize fish, the government promotes

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MSC Pre-Assessment: Indian Ocean Longline Tuna Fishery

the use of Juvenile and Turtle excluding devices (JTED) and circle hooks to longline fishermen (IOTC,
2017). Sharks, seabirds and marine turtles are priority species in reducing bycatch.

Malaysia understands the need for better quality data. Fishermen are required to report the
numbers of each species caught, the numbers of animals retained or discarded alive or dead
(longline gear is non-selective and unwanted or prohibited species such as, billfishes, sea turtles,
etc., must be returned to the water), the location of the set, the types and size of gear, and the
duration of the set. Information on the port of departure and return, unloading dealer and location,
number of sets, number of crew, date of departure and landing are reported on the Trip Summary
form. Information on the quantity caught for each species, the area of catch, the type and quantity
of gear, the date of departure and return, the dealer and location (county and state where the trip is
unloaded), he duration of the trip (time away from dock), an estimate of the fishing time, and the
number of crew are also included on this form.

Further to this, the Department of Fisheries (DoF) Malaysia has implemented a Vessel Monitoring
System (VMS) for all high seas fishing vessels. It is based on Inmarsat, utilising Inmarsat C, Mini C and
D+/B equipment. For tuna longline vessels operating beyond Malaysia’s EEZ, they use Argos systems
for their VMS. The installation of Mobile Transceiver Units (MTU) is mandatory under vessel licensing
regulation. Failure to do so, will cause the license of the vessel to be revoked or suspended as per
the Fisheries Act 1985. Currently, all Malaysian longline have the devices installed.

To further improve quality of catch data, the Malaysian DoF plans to implement observers onboard
(OBB) for purse seine vessels fishing in the domestic waters. Due to lack of financial resources, lack
of man power or human capacity and communication problems with captains and crew, the
observer onboard program is still yet to be implemented. The department proposed to install CCTV
on tuna vessels to monitor fishing activities at sea and help to prevent illegal transhipments, discards
and potential overfishing. However, serious discussion and planning have taken place to implement
this program for the vessels of >70 GRT (fishing >30nm outside coastal line) operating within the EEZ
of Malaysia.

From 2010, staff from the DoF has conducted regular sampling activities at the MITP, Penang. They
are responsible to collect, process and assist tuna scientists to analyse catch data. However,
between 2012 and mid-2016, all Malaysian flag vessels unloaded their catches outside Malaysian
ports, therefore no port sampling was carried out. The port sampling programme was resumed in
the middle of 2016 when five new registered longline tuna vessels started to unload their catches at
Penang Port.

Fishing is managed by the Taiwanese Fishing Agency. In 2017, the annual marine catch of Taiwan
was estimated at 0.7 million tonnes including distant water, offshore and costal fishery. The Agency,
distant water fishery, actively participates in various international fisheries organisations. The
Agency has a Deep-Sea Fisheries Division and Deep-Sea Fishery Research and Development Centre
directly related to distant water management. However, licensing is managed by Fisheries
Regulation Division (https://www.fa.gov.tw/en/). Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations and
is ineligible for membership to the IOTC, but cooperatively participates at the RFMO and are invited
as experts to the IOTC meetings.

Bycatch

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Malaysia has taken measures to reduce the impact of fishing activities on marine ecosystems by
promoting and encouraging the use of “eco-friendly fishing gears‟ as well as introducing various
fishing regulations such as the use of circle hooks (Samsudin et al., 2016).

Malaysian National Plan of Action for Sharks was adopted and published in 2006. It was based on the
guidelines set by the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of
Sharks (FAO, 2018).

To date, there have been no reports of seabird interaction by the Malaysian fishing vessels during
their fishing operation in the southeast Indian Ocean. However, the fleet’s owner has been
reminded about their responsibilities in relation to seabird conservation practices as stated in the
IOTC resolution 15/01. Malaysian vessels are required to apply 2 of the types of mitigation
recommended by the IOTC; tori lines and fast sinking lines.

Malaysia has developed a National Plan of Action for the conservation of turtles. This plan includes
implementing a nationwide ban on the selling of marine turtle eggs; establishing a dedicated multi-
stakeholder task force to re-examine the legal framework on turtle conservation in Malaysia; and
taking immediate action to start the process for Malaysia to accede to the Convention on Migratory
Species. The use of circle hooks for longline fishing is also encouraged and promoted to the artisanal
fishermen. Several joint trials and training were conducted between the government and fishermen
for the use of C-hooks.

The seabird and shark IPOAs recommended that all related nations develop NPOAs to find solutions
to bycatch. With the size of Taiwan’s tuna fishing vessels under consideration, and thorough review
of the seabird and shark bycatch, Taiwan’s seabird NPOA and shark NPOA were adopted in 2005 and
2006. According to the seabird NPOA, considering RFMO recommendations, conservation seabird
species list, the distribution of Taiwan’s tuna fishing vessels overlapped with the waters where
seabirds were concentrated, the seabirds bycatch conditions in different waters have been
continuously collected. Measures have been taken, evaluation systems established, and continuous
promotion and training have been conducted.

 The shark NPOA reviewed the shark bycatch in Taiwan distant water fisheries and coastal fisheries,
logbook records, landings, sampling vessel records, observers and other means were used to
estimate the catch of sharks. Regional cooperation, education, information exchange and other
measures have been taken and a management system for sharks has been established. Taiwan
agency stated the major shark bycatch species are blue shark (70-80%), mako sharks, thresher
sharks, hammerhead sharks and oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus)

No records are available on the number of accidently caught marine animals and whale sharks by
Malaysian or Taiwanese vessels in the Indian Ocean (Samsudin et al., 2016).

February 2018                                                                                  Page 13 of 58
MSC Pre-Assessment: Indian Ocean Longline Tuna Fishery

Principle One: Sustainable Fish Stocks

P1 1.1.1 – Stock Status
Albacore
There is believed to only be a single population of albacore in the Indian Ocean; however, there may
be some mixing with the Atlantic population. The population is considered to be a single Indian
Ocean population for assessment purposes (IOTC, 2016).

The most recent assessment indicated that increasing or maintaining current fishing effort will likely
result in further population declines and management measures to address this are needed. The
Indian Ocean Tuna Commission's Scientific Committee noted that catches should be capped at
around 40,000 tonnes or fishing mortality rates should be reduced (IOTC, 2017a), the average catch
between 2012 and 2016 being 35,150t.

The IOTC currently does not have an interim target and limit reference points for albacore tuna and
is continuing work to utilize management strategy evaluation to determine proper management
measures. The biomass is currently above MSY levels and fishing mortality levels are below MSY
levels.

                                Parameter                                Value

                                 F2014/FMSY                        0.85 (0.57-1.12)

                               SB2014/SBMSY                        1.80 (1.38-2.23)

                               SB2014/SB1950                       0.37 (0.28-0.46)

                                    MSY                     38,800 t (33,900-43,600 t)
                     Table 4 - Status of albacore in the Indian Ocean (SB1950 is a proxy for SB0)

Albacore tuna in the Indian Ocean are not overfished and are not undergoing overfishing (IOTC,
2017a).

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Figure 2 - Albacore: SS3 Aggregated Indian Ocean assessment Kobe plot. Blue circles indicate the trajectory of the point
estimates for the SB ratio and F ratio for each year 1950–2014 (the grey lines represent the 80 percentiles of the 2014
estimate). Target (Ftarg and SBtarg) and limit (Flim and SBlim) reference points are shown.

        PI                                       Scoring issue     SG 60           SG 80          SG 100       Likely PI score

                                      (a) Stock status re PRI
      1.1.1                                                                                                        Pass
                                     (b) Stock status re MSY

Bigeye
Bigeye tuna in the Indian Ocean were last assessed in 2016. Six different models were used at that
time to determine the status of bigeye tuna. These included, age structured and surplus production
models, ASAP, BDM, ASPIC, SCAA, BSPM and SS3). The results of the SS3 model were used to
determine the status of the stock and management advice. Catch data from 1974 onward were used
in this assessment (IOTC, 2016b)

The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission’s Scientific Committee suggested, based on the results of the
2016 assessment, that if catches of bigeye tuna are maintained below maximum sustainable yield
(MSY) levels, immediate management measures are not needed (IOTC, 2016b).

Total catches of bigeye tuna in the Indian Ocean increased steadily from the 1970's, from around
20,000 t in the 1970s, to over 150,000 t by the late 1990s with the development of the industrial
longline fisheries and arrival of European purse seiners during the 1980s. Since 2007 catches of
bigeye tuna by longliners have been relatively low - less than half the catch levels recorded largely
due to the decline in the number of Taiwanese longline vessels active in the north-west Indian Ocean
in response to the threat of piracy. Since 2012 catches appear to show some signs of recovery as a
consequence of improvements in security in the area off Somalia and return of fleets (mostly
Taiwan, China longline vessels) resuming activities in their main fishing grounds. However current
catches still remain far below levels recorded in 2003 and 2004

February 2018                                                                                                Page 15 of 58
MSC Pre-Assessment: Indian Ocean Longline Tuna Fishery

                                   Parameter                                 Value

                                    F2015/FMSY                         0.76 (0.49-1.03)

                                  SB2015/SBMSY                         1.29 (1.07-1.51)

                                  SB2015/SB1950                               0.38

                                       MSY                       104,000 t (87,000-121,000 t)
                          Table 5 - Status of bigeye in the Indian Ocean (SB1950 is a proxy for SB0)

The 2016 stock assessment of bigeye tuna in the Indian Ocean indicates the population is not
overfished or undergoing overfishing (IOTC, 2016b).

Figure 3 - Bigeye tuna: SS3 Aggregated Indian Ocean assessment Kobe plot. Dotted black lines are the interim limit
reference points adopted by the Commission via Resolution 15/10. The grey points represent 500 estimates of 2015 stock
status from the six SS3 scenarios. The black point represents the average of the six SS3 scenarios with associated 80%
confidence interval.

        PI                                       Scoring issue       SG 60           SG 80             SG 100    Likely PI score

                                      (a) Stock status re PRI
      1.1.1                                                                                                          Pass
                                     (b) Stock status re MSY

Yellowfin
Yellowfin tuna is assumed to be a single stock across Indian Ocean. This is supported by the tag
recoveries that provide evidence of large movements of yellowfin tuna. The latest full stock
assessment was conducted in 2015 and an updated assessment was conducted in 2016. Three
assessment models were used in the 2015 assessment were the, BBPm, SCAA and Stock Synthesis III.
This stock assessment included catch data from 1950 through 2014 {IOTC 2015}. The updated 2016
assessment utilized the Biomass Dynamic Model (BDM) and Stock Synthesis III and included catch
and effort data through 2015 (IOTC, 2016a).

February 2018                                                                                                   Page 16 of 58
MSC Pre-Assessment: Indian Ocean Longline Tuna Fishery

Exceptionally high catches were recorded between 2003 and 2006 – with the highest catches ever
recorded in 2004 at over 525,000 t – while catches of bigeye tuna, which are generally associated
with the same fishing grounds as yellowfin tuna remained at average levels. Between 2007 and 2011
catches dropped considerably (around ≈40% compared to 2004) as longline fishing effort in the
western Indian Ocean was displaced eastwards or reduced due to the threat of piracy. Catches by
purse seiners also declined over the same period – albeit not to the same extent as longliners – due
to the presence of security personnel onboard purse seine vessels of the EU and Seychelles which
has enabled fishing operations to continue. Since 2012 catches have once again been increasing,
with catches over 400,000 t recorded

                                    Parameter                               Value

                                     F2015/FMSY                       1.11 (0.66-1.36)

                                    SB2015/SBMSY                      0.89 (0.79-0.99)

                                     SB2012/SB0                              0.29

                                        MSY                                422 000
                                      Table 6- Status of yellowfin in the Indian Ocean

The stock is currently overfished (B2015FMSY) (IOTC,
2016a).

Figure 4 - Yellowfin tuna: Stock synthesis Kobe plot. Blue dots indicate the trajectory of the point estimates for the B/BMSY
ratio and FMSY proxy ratio for each year 1950–2015. The grey line represents the 80% confidence interval associated with
 the 2015 stock status. Dotted black lines are the interim limit reference points adopted by the Commission via Resolution
                                                            15/10.

       PI                                        Scoring issue     SG 60            SG 80         SG 100        Likely PI score

February 2018                                                                                                 Page 17 of 58
MSC Pre-Assessment: Indian Ocean Longline Tuna Fishery

                                (a) Stock status re PRI                                             Pass with
     1.1.1
                              (b) Stock status re MSY                                              conditions

PI 1.1.2 – Stock Rebuilding
Yellowfin
In 2015, it was advised that catches of yellowfin tuna should be reduced to a minimum of 80% of
current (2014) catch levels to rebuild by 2024 {IOTC 2015}. An interim rebuilding plan was adopted in
2016, but the success of this plan has yet to be evaluated. No new advice was provided in 2016 as a
result of the updated assessment but did indicate there is a risk of continuing to exceed the biomass
reference point if catches increase or remain at 2015 levels until 2018 (IOTC, 2016a).

Yellowfin tuna are currently managed by an interim rebuilding plan (IOTC 2016).

The stock status is driven by unsustainable catches of yellowfin tuna taken over the last five years,
and the relatively low recruitment levels estimated by the model in recent years. The Commission
has an interim plan for the rebuilding of this stock (Resolution 16/01 which has yet to be evaluated
and has been superseded by Resolution 17/01), with catch limitations beginning January 2017. The
possible effect of this measure will not be assessed until the 2018 full assessment is conducted. The
projections produced to advise on future catches are, in the short term, driven by the below average
recruitment estimated for in recent years since these year classes have yet to reach maturity and
contribute to the spawning biomass (IOTC, 2016a). As there is no evidence that the interim
rebuilding plan is likely to succeed SG60a is not met.

      PI                                  Scoring issue   SG 60         SG 80         SG 100       Likely PI score

                            (a) Rebuilding timeframes
     1.1.2                                                                                              Fail
                            (b) Rebuilding evaluation

February 2018                                                                                    Page 18 of 58
MSC Pre-Assessment: Indian Ocean Longline Tuna Fishery

PI 1.2.1 – Harvest Strategy
A harvest strategy is defined by the MSC as “the combination of monitoring, stock assessment,
harvest control rules and management actions, which may include a management plan and be
tested by management strategy evaluation (MSE)”.

Albacore
Albacore tuna are currently caught almost exclusively using drifting longlines (accounting for over
90% of the total catches). The harvest strategy (interim rebuilding plan Res. 13-09) is expected to
achieve stock management objectives reflected in PI 1.1.1 (SG 60) (Nishida and Tanaka, 2008).

The harvest strategy is responsive to the state of the stock and the elements of the harvest strategy
work together towards achieving stock management objectives (SG 80) is unlikely to be met.

       PI                                Scoring issue   SG 60         SG 80         SG 100       Likely PI score

                                        (a) HS design

                                    (b) HS evaluation
                                                                                                    Pass with
     1.2.1
                                                                                                   conditions
                                    (c) HS monitoring

                                        (d) HS review

Bigeye
Industrial fisheries account for the majority of catches of bigeye tuna, i.e., deep-freezing and fresh
longline (~57%) and purse seine (IOTC, 2016b).

The harvest strategy (interim rebuilding plan Res. 15-01) is expected to achieve stock management
objectives reflected in PI 1.1.1 (SG 60), but without explicit reference points. The harvest strategy is
responsive to the state of the stock and the elements of the harvest strategy work together towards
achieving stock management objectives (SG 80) is unlikely to be met.

       PI                                Scoring issue   SG 60         SG 80         SG 100       Likely PI score

                                        (a) HS design

                                    (b) HS evaluation
                                                                                                    Pass with
     1.2.1
                                                                                                   conditions
                                    (c) HS monitoring

                                        (d) HS review

Yellowfin
In recent years catches have been evenly split between industrial and artisanal fisheries. Purse
seiners (free and associated schools) and longline fisheries still account for around 50% of total

February 2018                                                                                   Page 19 of 58
MSC Pre-Assessment: Indian Ocean Longline Tuna Fishery

catches, while catches from artisanal gears – namely handline, gillnet, and pole-and-line – have
steadily increased since the 1980s (IOTC, 2016a).

The harvest strategy (i.e. the interim rebuilding plan Res. 16-01 and 17-01) is not expected to
achieve stock management objectives reflected in PI 1.1.1 (SG 60) with reference points. The harvest
strategy is responsive to the state of the stock and the elements of the harvest strategy work
together towards achieving stock management objectives (SG 60) is unlikely to be met.

         PI                                 Scoring issue   SG 60         SG 80         SG 100       Likely PI score

                                           (a) HS design

                                       (b) HS evaluation
        1.2.1                                                                                             Fail
                                      (c) HS monitoring

                                          (d) HS review

PI 1.2.2 – Harvest Control Rules
Albacore
Currently the IOTC has developed and adopted HCRs for only skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis).
However, there are currently no decision rules or frameworks in place that would provide advice on
necessary changes to management based on new stock assessment results. Maldives pole-and-line
fishery (Intertek, 2012 and 2014) argued that the stock status for yellowfin and skipjack were
sufficiently robust and that strategy, when introduced, would be effective. However, this issue is
contentious without the evidence that tools used to implement harvest control rules are appropriate
and effective in controlling exploitation – as shown by the trajectory of the yellowfin stock since that
time.

The Harvest rules and tools PIs are not likely to be met for:

    •      Generally understood HCRs are in place or available that are expected to reduce the
           exploitation rate as the point of recruitment impairment (PRI) is approached (SG 60 a)
    •      The HCRs are likely to be robust to the main uncertainties (SG 80a/c).

Until clear harvest rules are implemented by IOTC, it is questionable if PI 1.2.2 meets with the SG 60
guidepost and therefore will score low and become a high priority PI.

         PI                                 Scoring issue   SG 60         SG 80         SG 100       Likely PI score

                            (a) HCR design & application

        1.2.2                        (b) HCR robustness                                                   Fail

                                       (c) HS evaluation

Bigeye
Currently the IOTC has developed and adopted HCRs for only skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis).
However, there are currently no decision rules or frameworks in place that would provide advice on

February 2018                                                                                      Page 20 of 58
MSC Pre-Assessment: Indian Ocean Longline Tuna Fishery

necessary changes to management based on new stock assessment results. Maldives pole-and-line
fishery (Intertek, 2012 and 2014) argued that the stock status for yellowfin and skipjack were
sufficiently robust and that strategy, when introduced, would be effective. However, this issue is
contentious without the evidence that tools used to implement harvest control rules are appropriate
and effective in controlling exploitation.

The Harvest rules and tools PIs are not likely to be met for:

    •      Generally understood HCRs are in place or available that are expected to reduce the
           exploitation rate as the point of recruitment impairment (PRI) is approached (SG 60 a)
    •      The HCRs are likely to be robust to the main uncertainties (SG 80a/c).

Until clear harvest rules are implemented by IOTC, it is questionable if PI 1.2.2 meets with the SG 60
guidepost and require a condition.

         PI                                 Scoring issue   SG 60         SG 80         SG 100       Likely PI score

                            (a) HCR design & application

        1.2.2                        (b) HCR robustness                                                   Fail

                                       (c) HS evaluation

Yellowfin
Currently the IOTC has developed and adopted HCRs for only skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis).
However, there are currently no decision rules or frameworks in place that would provide advice on
necessary changes to management based on new stock assessment results. Maldives pole-and-line
fishery (Intertek, 2012 and 2014) argued that the stock status for yellowfin and skipjack were
sufficiently robust and that strategy, when introduced, would be effective. However, this argument
is now untrue in relation to yellowfin, because stock status has declined below the MSY level. As
noted above, the interim rebuilding plan (the current harvest strategy) does not meet the
requirements for stock rebuilding (indeed, it is questionable whether it will rebuild the stock at all).
On this basis, it clearly cannot meet the MSC requirements for an HCR.

The Harvest rules and tools PIs are not likely to be met for:

    •      Generally understood HCRs are in place or available that are expected to reduce the
           exploitation rate as the point of recruitment impairment (PRI) is approached (SG 60 a)
    •      The HCRs are likely to be robust to the main uncertainties (SG 80a/c).

Until clear harvest rules are implemented by IOTC, it is also questionable if PI 1.2.2 meets with the
SG 60 guidepost and requires a condition.

         PI                                 Scoring issue   SG 60         SG 80         SG 100       Likely PI score

                            (a) HCR design & application
        1.2.2                                                                                             Fail
                                     (b) HCR robustness

February 2018                                                                                      Page 21 of 58
MSC Pre-Assessment: Indian Ocean Longline Tuna Fishery

                                       (c) HS evaluation

PI 1.2.3 – Information and Monitoring
Albacore
Albacore in the Indian Ocean is currently subject to a number of Conservation and Management
Measures adopted by the Commission (IOTC, 2013):

    •      Resolution 15/01 on the recording of catch and effort by fishing vessels in the IOTC area of
           competence
    •      Resolution 15/02 mandatory statistical reporting requirements for IOTC Contracting Parties
           and Cooperating Non-Contracting Parties (CPC’s)
    •      Resolution 15/06 On a ban on discards of bigeye tuna, skipjack tuna, yellowfin tuna and a
           recommendation for non-targeted species caught by purse seine vessels in the IOTC area of
           competence
    •      Resolution 15/10 On target and limit reference points and a decision framework
    •      Resolution 15/11 on the implementation of a limitation of fishing capacity of Contracting
           Parties and Cooperating Non-Contracting Parties
    •      Resolution 14/02 for the conservation and management of tropical tuna stocks in the IOTC
           area of competence.
    •      Resolution 14/05 concerning a record of licensed foreign vessels fishing for IOTC species in
           the IOTC area of competence and access agreement information
    •      Resolution 13/09 on the conservation of albacore caught in the IOTC area of competence
    •      Resolution 10/08 concerning a record of active vessels fishing for tunas and swordfish in the
           IOTC area

In previous years, Malaysia has reported incomplete catches of albacore for its longline fleet, as
monitoring of the fishery by Malaysia did not include the large component of the longline fleet that
is based in ports outside Malaysia (e.g. in particular unloading of albacore in Port Louis, Mauritius).

In recent years Malaysia has reported around 5 longliners in the Indian Ocean, while catches of
albacore range between nil and 2,000 t for the same period. To compensate the under-reporting of
catches, an additional 500–2,000 t of albacore has been estimated in previous years for Malay
longliners not based in Malaysia, unloaded in foreign ports (with catches instead reported as NEI
longline fleet).

         PI                                 Scoring issue   SG 60         SG 80         SG 100       Likely PI score

                                (a) Range of information

                                                                                                      Pass with
        1.2.3                            (b) Monitoring
                                                                                                     Conditions
                                 (c) Comprehensiveness

February 2018                                                                                      Page 22 of 58
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