FFA TRADE AND INDUSTRY NEWS Volume 10: Issue 1 January-February 2017

FFA TRADE AND INDUSTRY NEWS   Volume 10: Issue 1January-February 2017    

By Elizabeth Havice, Mike McCoy, Liam Campling[1]



Preferential Trade

Philippines risk GSP+ status if death-penalty is reintroduced 

Fisheries Subsidies

WTO fisheries subsidies negotiations gather momentum ahead of the 11th Ministerial Conference

Subsidies reported to continue fuelling profitability for China’s largest tuna fishing companies 

Fisheries Regulation 

European Commission lifts IUU Fishing ‘yellow card’ for Solomon Islands

US government issues final IUU rule, industry association NFI sues

Fisheries Management

IATTC introduces purse seine catch limits for 2017

ISSF evaluates tuna stocks using Marine Stewardship Council criteria; animal welfare groups target MSC 

Tuna Industry

New US administration’s impact on fisheries not yet clear

FishWise releases whitepapers on social responsibility and traceability for seafood supply chains



Philippines risk GSP+ status if death-penalty is reintroduced 

Since December 2015, Philippines’ tuna processing sector has benefited from a 20.5% duty saving on canned tuna and cooked tuna loin exports to the EU market, after successfully graduating to EU-Generalised System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status. In total, 6,274 products became duty free. Gaining GSP+ status was contingent on the Philippines’ ratification and implementation on 27 conventions relating to human rights, labour standards, good governance and the environment.  

The Philippines Government, under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte, has been pushing for the re-introduction of the death penalty for drug-related crimes as part of Mr. Duterte’s controversial war on drugs. However, doing so may jeopardise Philippines’ GSP+ status, should the EU, which strongly opposes the death penalty, deems this move to contravene international human rights conventions that Philippines has already ratified. Philippines Government spokespeople have indicated that loss of GSP+ status is not a serious concern, given only 20-25% of tariff lines would be affected, which are not necessarily Philippines’ biggest exports to the EU. Although, it is acknowledged that the tuna sector, together with coconut oil, will be the worst affected.[2] The 20.5% duty saving on processed tuna under GSP+ has helped to improve Philippines’ competitiveness against other major EU tuna exporters, particularly Thailand and Ecuador, and to stimulate investment in the sector. If GSP+ status is revoked, Philippines will revert to paying 20.5% duty on processed tuna products under the standard GSP. 

On 1 March, a second reading of the Duterte Government’s Death Penalty Bill was passed in the lower house of congress, gaining support from a majority of politicians. The bill will pass through a third and final reading in the lower house, although this is deemed a formality, as no more debates will be held on the bill. Following the final reading, the Senate will be required to pass a counterpart bill for the death penalty to become legal again; the Senate is reportedly also dominated by President Duterte’s allies. President Duterte is aiming for the death penalty for drug-related offences to be legalised again by May 2017.[3]  



WTO fisheries subsidies negotiations gather momentum ahead of the 11th Ministerial Conference

Discussions on disciplines for fisheries subsidies continue to gather momentum in the WTO’s Negotiating Group on Rules (NGR) as proponents push for an agreed outcome by the WTO’s 11th Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires in December 2017 (MC11), in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals’ 2020 target (Target 14.6). 

Four fisheries subsidies proposals are being carefully considered by WTO members tabled by the EU, African, Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP), Least-Developed Countries (LDCs) and jointly, six Latin American countries. 

The EU textural proposal calls for subsidies linked to overcapacity to be prohibited, including subsidies for enhancing the capacity of existing vessels, new vessel construction and flag-based vessel transfers. Subsidies to vessels engaged in IUU fishing (i.e. on flag-state and/or RFMO IUU lists) would also be prohibited. The proposal includes special and differential treatment (S&DT) provisions for developing and least-developed countries. Vessels less than 10 metres used for subsistence fishing would be fully excluded from fisheries subsidies disciplines; other vessel classes may receive capacity-enhancing subsidies if targeted stocks are not overfished and well-managed by international standards and a management plan for the subsidised fleet is presented to the WTO Secretariat demonstrating that subsidies will not contribute to overfishing. All WTO members are required to notify the WTO on any subsidies directly or indirectly supporting marine fishing activity.[4] 

The ACP proposal outlines principles and elements for discussion on fisheries subsidies rules, rather than legal text. Like the EU, the ACP group calls for prohibition of subsidies to IUU fishing and fishing vessels/activities affecting overfished stocks. Further disciplines could also be considered for capacity enhancing subsidies. As a priority, disciples should target subsidies provided to large-scale commercial fishing and distant water fishing in high seas/other EEZs. Besides subsidies for IUU fishing and overfishing and overcapacity, developing countries, including LDCs and small vulnerable economies (SVEs), should be permitted to provide fisheries subsidies for coastal and commercial fishing activities. Under S&DT provisions, developing countries should be given flexibility in the design and implementation of provisions, provided with technical assistance and capacity building to implement disciplines and transparency and be subject to notification requirements in line with developing countries’ capacity and their contribution towards overfishing and overcapacity.[5] The LDC proposal echoes the key points made in the ACP proposal.[6] These proposals reflect the position held by Pacific Island countries since the early days of fisheries subsidies negotiations, that disciplines should fall hardest on developed WTO members with large-scale distant water fishing fleets, allowing developing and least-developed countries the policy space to provide subsidies to support the sustainable development of their domestic fisheries. 

The joint proposal from Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru and Uruguay presents a practical framework to guide multilateral fisheries subsidies negotiations, based on an adaptation of the Trace Facilitation Agreement (TFA) approach. General disciplines for elimination of subsidies contributing to IUU fishing and prohibition of certain forms of fisheries subsidies contributing to overfishing and overcapacity would enter into force no later than 2020. Developing and least-developed members could be given a transitional period to implement disciplines on subsidies relating to overfishing and overcapacity, as well as technical assistance for capacity building.[7] 

There are key commonalities amongst the four proposals – all have shared objectives of reaching agreement by MC11 in December 2017 and achieving the UN SDG goals by 2020; similarly, all proposals call for across-the-board prohibition of subsidies linked to IUU fishing and overfished stocks, with no exemptions. Each proposal includes S&DT provisions for developing and LDC members, but to varied degrees in terms of the level of exemptions offered, transparency and notification requirements and capacity building. 

On 1 March, the NGR agreed on several next steps in its process to reaching agreement on fisheries subsidies disciplines. Firstly, a technical briefing session will be held with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Bank and regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs). The Chair will then hold focussed sessions on specific substantive issues - what sorts of fisheries subsidies should be prohibited; what role, if any, RFMOs and/or fisheries management systems should have in fisheries subsidies issues; how to define subsistence, small-scale and artisanal fishing and what subsidies disciplines should apply to these sectors; and, how an agreement on fisheries subsidies could address future development needs of developing and least-developed members without undermining sustainability. In the meantime, general fisheries subsidies meetings of the NGR will continue to be held.[8]

Alongside multilateral negotiations, a group of 13 WTO members led by the US seeking to conclude an ambitious, high standard plurilateral agreement on fisheries subsidies held their first meeting in late January.[9] 


Subsidies reported to continue fuelling profitability for China’s largest tuna fishing companies 

Recent news reports have highlighted continued subsidies contributing to the profitability of two of the largest Chinese fishing firms engaged in overseas fisheries in 2016. Shanghai Kaichuang Marine International Company Ltd. and CNFC Overseas Fishery Co. Ltd are both active in the WCPO tuna fishery, as well as other fisheries worldwide. 

Through subsidiaries or sister companies Shanghai Kaichuang operates the Pan Pacific Fishing (RMI) Ltd. loining facility in Majuro, as well as 10 purse seiners fishing in the WCPO. In early 2016, the company expanded its global activities with the purchase of a Spanish tuna canner for about €61 million.[10] The company is listed on the Shanghai stock exchange, with financial media reporting about 95% of the company’s stock held by a subsidiary of the state-owned enterprise, Shanghai Fisheries General Corporation Group.[11] In addition to tuna, the company’s global activities include fishing and/or processing in mackerel, krill, and pilchard and menhaden fisheries. In 2015, about 62% of company sales reportedly came from tuna.[12]

Shanghai Kaichuang’s 2015 annual report listed CNY 207 million (about US $30 million) in government subsidies, not including fuel subsidies. According to one source, fuel subsidies tallied CNY 183 million (US $26.6 million) in 2014 and presumably would have applied globally. Despite these subsidies, the company reported a net loss of CNY 110.8 million in the 2015 fiscal year.[13] This situation changed in 2016 as the company received a smaller non-fuel subsidy of CNY 135.2 million (US$ 19.6 million) but projected a profit of CNY 6 to 8 million. According to one source, the turn-around was due to subsidies, as well as property disposal (sale of a vessel(s) to its parent, non-listed company).[14]

Similarly, CNFC Overseas Fishery Co. Ltd is a Shanghai Stock Exchange-listed company that is a subsidiary of a state-owned enterprise, in this case China National Fisheries Corporation Group. Through its subsidiary, SeaFresh Fiji Ltd., the company operates a fleet of albacore targeting longliners based in Fiji. The company is also active in Solomon Islands through its subsidiary, Solong Fisheries. In addition to tuna in the WCPO, the company also participates in squid and saury fisheries. 

According to one source, CNFC Overseas Fisheries reported receiving a subsidy of CNY 75 million (USD 12.2 million) in 2016. This resulted in the company forecasting a profit of up to CNY 34 million for 2016.[15] Referencing an analysis of the company’s financial accounts, this same source said that CNFC has reported a profit in four of the past six years due to government subsidies. More recently, the company has announced its intention to use CNY 163 million (approximately USD 23.6 million) to buy additional fishing vessels.[16] 

Not all subsidies to Chinese firms come from the central government. There have also been provincial and municipal level subsidies applied to enterprises engaged in distant water fishing industries that have applied to vessel design and construction, overseas base development, crew support, and other categories.[17] 

The recent continued financial support for distant water fisheries contrasts with a recent announcement by China that pledged to reduce its fleet of medium and large scale vessels by 8,300 and its total fishing fleet by 20,000 vessels. Quoting a document published by the Fisheries Department of China’s Ministry of Agriculture in late January 2017, one source said that the policy is in response to “extensive problems due to exploitation of fisheries resources”, and that “(China) will keep the fishing capacity and catch of fishing vessels at a reasonable level, referring to common practice of international fishery resources management”.[18] The announcement, if translated into action, is an important one. Equally important is the lack of any mention of reductions or eliminations of subsidies to the fishing industry.



European Commission lifts IUU Fishing ‘yellow card’ for Solomon Islands

On 22 February, in the margins of the Economist’s World Ocean Summit in Bali, the European Commission announced that the ‘yellow card’ warning issued to Solomon Islands under the EU’s IUU Fishing Regulation has been lifted. Since December 2014, when the warning was first issued, Solomon Islands’ Government and industry have been working to address deficiencies in the fight against IUU fishing, including reforming fisheries legal and administrative frameworks to bring them in line with international law, strengthening the sanctioning system to deter IUU fishing and improving the monitoring and control of Solomon Islands’ fishing fleets.[19] 

This announcement has come as a welcome relief to Solomon Islands’ tuna industry, particularly its domestic fishing and processing companies, National Fisheries Development Ltd. and Soltuna Ltd., whose vertically integrated operations are largely geared to supply tuna products to the EU market duty free under the EU-Generalised System of Preferences ‘Everything But Arms’ scheme. Had the ‘yellow card’ warning been upgraded to a ‘red card’, Solomon Island’s access to the EU market would have been suspended, potentially compromising continued processing operations at Soltuna Ltd. and in turn, over 1,000 jobs for Solomon Islanders, given a lack of other viable market alternatives to the EU for Solomon Islands’ processed tuna. 

Other major WCPO tuna players, Thailand, Taiwan, Kiribati and Tuvalu still have yellow card warnings in place, while they continue to strengthen their legal and administrative arrangements for controlling IUU fishing.  


US government issues final IUU rule, industry association NFI sues

As reported in prior issues of TIN, the Obama administration actively sought to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and seafood fraud, creating a Task Force on the topic. The effort yielded an Action Plan for Implementing Task Force Recommendations in 2015, a top priority of which was developing a seafood traceability program. In December 2016, the US National Marine Fisheries Service (the fisheries branch of NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) issued a final rule on traceability. It requires US seafood importers to trace the origin of fish they import to either the specific boat that caught the fish or its collection point and to have records of the location and date the fish was caught. The regulation applies to all imported fish, as well as domestically caught fish or farmed seafood that are shipped outside of the US from processing and then reimported into the US. The rule identifies 15 species that must comply, including albacore, bigeye, skipjack, yellowfin and bluefin tuna and has a mandatory compliance date of 1 January 2018.[20]

US industry association National Fisheries Institute (NFI) (which represents US canned tuna branded processors Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea) and several other seafood firms have joined together to file suit against the regulation, despite NFI having advocated for action against seafood fraud over the past decade in three main areas: strengthening enforcement over seafood labeling, particularly species name; net weights and product integrity to combat a flood of imports of frozen products that had a protective ice coating that consisted of 20-40 percent of the total product weight, and; working with NOAA on the IUU and traceability measures, including encouraging the US to sign the UN Port State Measures Agreement and supporting NOAA efforts to blacklist products from IUU vessels from entering the US.[21] 

The suit asks for a delay and review of the law with complainants arguing that the rule would reduce exports to the US, increase the costs of catching, processing and importing seafood, and put reporting and compliance burdens on small and subsistence producers in developing countries, as well as the processors and buyers who coordinate with disaggregated suppliers in developing regions.[22] The suit argues that in a rush to publish the rule before the end of Obama’s term, the Administration did not disclose the data that it used to craft the rule, miscalculated compliance costs and violated the administrative procedures act. The US Government Office of Management and Budget estimated cost of the rule to the seafood industry, but the suit counters that the estimate was based only on the additional data entry work required on each container and that the actual costs of full implementation would be much higher than the government estimated. The new US administration has not yet weighed in on the issue.



IATTC introduces purse seine catch limits for 201723

From 7-10 February, the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) held its 91st meeting in La Jolla, California. This was an extraordinary meeting scheduled after two failed attempts in July & October 2016 to reach agreement on either a new tuna conservation measure or, as a fall-back, a roll-over of the existing 2014-2016 measure for 2017. 

The extraordinary meeting continued with consideration of three proposals for a new measure from the US, Mexico and jointly, Colombia and Ecuador. All three proposals retained the existing 62-day time closure (‘veda’) and 30-day area closure (‘corralito’) currently in place for Class 4 - 6 purse seiners (>182 mt carrying capacity). The US proposal also called for the establishment of individual vessel catch limits for bigeye and yellowfin of 1mt/m3 of vessel capacity for Class 6 purse seiners (carrying capacity > 363 mt) from floating object and non-associated sets and an additional 8 days closure period for Class 6 vessels with a Dolphin Mortality Limit (DML) issued under the Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Program (AIDCP). Mexico proposed the existing measures be extended to apply to all purse seiners (Classes 1-6) and that an annual limit be set for FAD deployments. Colombia & Ecuador proposed a global combined bigeye and yellowfin catch limit for Class 6 purse seiners on floating objects of around 89,500 mt, based on a 10% reduction from average 2013-2015 EPO catches.

After three days of intense deliberation, agreement was reached late in the final evening on a measure which will only apply for 2017 (Resolution C-17-01). The key elements of the 2014-2016 measure were carried over to 2017 – that is, the 62-day annual time closure and 30-day area closure for Class 4-6 purse seiners, plus flag-based longline bigeye catch limits. In an effort to strengthen management of bigeye and yellowfin given overcapacity concerns in the EPO purse seine fishery, coupled with bigeye stocks being overfished and yellowfin stocks approaching full exploitation, IATTC agreed to an additional purse seine measure proposed on the last day of the meeting by Japan. A total annual catch limit based on 2013-2015 average catches for yellow and bigeye (combined) was adopted of 97,711 mt for sets on floating objects by Class 4 – 6 purse seiners and 162,182 mt for sets on dolphins by Class 6 purse seiners. Once these limits have been reached under an Olympic system (i.e. first come, first served), the fishery will be closed for floating object and dolphin-associated sets, but vessels will be able to continue setting on free-schools with no limits. 

This outcome represents a compromise on the US and Colombia & Ecuador proposals and avoids additional days being added to the ‘veda’ closure period for now, which has been opposed by some IATTC members. However, the 2017 resolution also indicates that the Commission may take further actions including substantial extension of closure days for purse seiners or equivalent measures at its 2017 meeting, based on scientific evaluation of the measures.

This marks an important development for IATTC (and other RFMOs), where a precedent has been set for a catch quota system for the EPO purse seine fishery. Discussions will continue at IATTC’s annual meeting in June about the 2017 tuna measure and options for 2018 and beyond. It is anticipated that issues about allocation of the total catch limit for purse seiners will be one of the items covered (i.e. introduction of flag-based or individual vessel-based catch limits vs. Olympic system), given the Olympic system may create a ‘race to fish’ and influence vessels to choose the second veda closure held later in the year, rather than the first, in case limits on floating objects and dolphin associated sets are reached before the end of 2017. 


ISSF evaluates tuna stocks using Marine Stewardship Council criteria; animal welfare groups target MSC

Recent months have seen interest groups outside of the MSC weigh in on the organization’s criteria and assessment processes. First, the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) – a non-profit with membership from tuna processing and trading companies, eNGO WWF and a scientific committee – released an extensive study that analyses the sustainability of global tuna stocks relative to Marine Stewardship Council Criteria.[24] ISSF updated this report which it first published in 2013 to respond to inconsistencies across assessments of tuna stocks by undertaking a single comprehensive approach to scoring stocks using MSC criteria.[25] According to ISSF, the report is designed to: compare stock scores as assessed by the same experts, act as a resource for future tuna certifications and/or establishment of Fisheries Improvement Projects (FIPs), review the strengths and weaknesses of RFMOs, and help ISSF prioritize its own projects and advocacy efforts. ISSF has long been a stakeholder in the MSC process and has filed formal objections to two MSC certifications for tuna.

The study evaluates nineteen stocks of tropical and temperate tunas against two of the three MSC criteria: stock status and international management aspects relevant to RFMOs. It uses MSC’s own performance indicators and guidelines for scoring fisheries. The analysis suggested variable health across stocks. In the Pacific, Western and Eastern Bigeye require rebuilding. Eastern Pacific Skipjack was the only stock receiving passing scores on each of the six performance indicators. On management indicators, the ISSF analysis gave WCPFC and IATTC passing scores for all performance indicators and ICCAT and IOTC ‘conditional passes’ on several indicators. ISSF applauded RFMOs for improving management frameworks, though emphasised that its analysis reveals that only 11 of 19 major commercial tuna stocks received a passing score on stock status, in many cases as a result of lack of well-defined harvest control rules in place at RFMOs. While future client tuna fisheries will be evaluated on the merits related to all three MSC principles, ISSF’s scoring exercises argues for a need to improve the management of the stocks through the RFMOs in order for several stocks to be able to achieve MSC certification. 

In an unrelated effort, a group of 50 animal protection groups sent a letter to the MSC in mid-January expressing concerns over MSC certification of fisheries with high bycatch.[26] The letter drew particular attention to marine mammals and sharks that die as bycatch and called on the MSC to improve its bycatch standards and stop certification of fisheries catching top predators and those that involve deliberate setting of nets on whales and dolphins. It also raised concerns about MSC certified companies and vessels with ties to whaling. Signatories argue that the MSC certification assessment processes do not adequately review information available on bycatch of non-target species. 

The letter identified six fisheries that either are MSC certified or in assessment that the signatories see as particularly problematic, including the north eastern tropical Pacific purse seine yellowfin and skipjack tuna fishery, which is currently in assessment and operates in the Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission’s (IATTC) management area. The Pacific Alliance for Sustainable Tuna (PAST), a group of five fishing companies that are vertically integrated into processing and marketing are the client in the certification process. PAST fishers comprise Mexican vessel with a hold capacity of more than 363 mt fishing with purse seine gear. In 2013, PAST members caught 97,538 mt of yellowfin and 12,393 mt of skipjack to supply both domestic and foreign markets.[27] The animal rights groups that penned the letter object to this certification because the fishery involves deliberate netting of dolphins; they argue that there are a lack of reliable indicators to monitor dolphin abundance in the north eastern Tropical Pacific.

In comments to Undercurrent News, MSC indicated that it encourages stakeholder participation and feedback on its process, including objections to outcomes of the assessment process and will respond to the letter. It also indicated that it has recently updated its fisheries standard to include measures to reduce the risk of cumulative negative impacts on bycatch species including endangered, threatened and protected species and to introduce processes to regularly review and improve their actions to reduce bycatch.[28]



New US administration’s impact on fisheries not yet clear

The early days of the Trump presidency raise several questions about the impact that the new administration will have on Pacific fisheries or broader geopolitical and economic relationships in the region. In the first days of his presidency, Trump exited from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a multilateral trade deal among 13 Pacific Rim countries including Japan, Mexico, the US and Vietnam that was designed in part to keep China’s growing economic power in balance. The TPP contained fisheries-specific provisions that would have facilitated access to the US and Japanese markets, two of the largest for seafood products. Canned tuna, which Japan and the US protect with tariffs, is not presently produced in large volumes in any of the TPP countries, through Vietnam was positioned to utilize the TPP outcomes to grow its burgeoning processing sector, provided it could meet the agreement’s Rules of Origin. 

It is also worth noting that the TPP contained an ‘Environmental Chapter’ that included provisions on fisheries management and eliminating subsidies to fishing on overfished stocks and to IUU fishing. Though TPP is now dead, it has left a lasting legacy in the ongoing WTO fisheries subsidies process. The WTO has been seeking to develop disciplines on fisheries subsidies as a part of the Doha Development Round, a process that has stalled in recent years. However, since the US and Japan – who were on opposite sides of the WTO fisheries subsidies negotiations debates – agreed to a set of fisheries subsidies disciplines in the TPP, the TPP agreed text travelled back into the WTO. The new scope of rules has reinvigorated negotiations on the topic over the past year (see related story).[29]

More broadly, however, analysts continue to debate potential scenarios that will emerge, including potential for an Asia-Pacific Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) that would include ASEAN Members, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.[30] In terms of tuna-related scenarios, speculation abounds that non-TPP countries with significant processing capacity such as China, Thailand and Ecuador are likely to be the beneficiaries of the collapse of the deal.[31] 

Inside the US, the new administration has not yet signalled how it will approach fisheries management or seafood governance. However, a general move toward protectionism is likely to aid domestic seafood sectors. In the case of canned tuna, it seems likely that Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea’s plants that process only imported loins will remain protected by continued tariffs on canned imports, which in turn, at least temporarily stabilizes loining operations for PAFCO in Levuka, Fiji, which supplies the Bumble Bee plant. The move to protectionism also offers the Starkist plant in American Samoa at least temporary relief against the threat of preference erosion. On domestic fisheries in the US, one analyst has suggested that there is likely to be a shift towards more flexibility on fisheries management and a move towards reducing the size and complexity of federal regulation. More broadly, a major shift in the US approach to climate policy means that the US is no longer likely to be an ally in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or to plan or prepare for impacts of climate change.[32] 


FishWise releases whitepapers on social responsibility and traceability for seafood supply chains

In recent years, human rights and traceability have become increasingly topical issues in the global seafood industry, as reports on alleged labour abuse in fishing and processing sectors, as well as IUU fishing have increased. FishWise, a US-based non-profit sustainable seafood consultancy, has recently released two white papers designed to serve as a reference tool for conservation and human rights NGOs, businesses and other stakeholders to improve sustainability and social responsibility throughout seafood supply chains.[33]

The white paper on social responsibility highlights the global nature and complexity of human rights and labour abuses in seafood supply chains, which in turn makes them challenging issues to prevent. These issues are exacerbated by illegal fishing, limited transparency on practices on fishing vessels and in processing facilities and lack of regulatory enforcement. However, governments and seafood industry players are working at improving efforts to prevent such abuses. The white paper sets out steps to achieving social responsibility including supply chain mapping and analysis, communicating and tracking goals with suppliers, auditing and certification, public reporting on progress and stakeholder engagement. It also provides a summary of the forms of exploitation on fishing vessels, key human rights legislation related to the seafood industry, useful resources and organisations and key contacts working on social responsibility in seafood.[34] 

The white paper on advancing traceability in the seafood industry highlights the contribution supply chain traceability systems can make in identifying and mitigating risks such as food safety concerns, mislabelling and fraud, IUU fishing and human rights and labour abuse. It highlights the importance of seafood traceability and provides an overview of the current landscape in terms of existing governance structures, key players advancing traceability, challenges and emerging issues. The white paper recommends steps companies can take to address traceability within their company and supply chains including maintenance of detailed harvest records, communication of traceability expectations to all suppliers, configuration of IT systems to handle and share traceability data, identification of high-risk products, conducting tracebacks and audits and identifying barriers to traceability.[35] 



1 Prepared for the FFA Fisheries Development Division by Dr Liam Campling, School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London, Dr Elizabeth Havice, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Mike McCoy, independent consultant, all Consultant Fisheries Trade and Market Intelligence Analysts, Fisheries Development Division, FFA. Desktop publishing by Antony Price. The authors would like to thank Mike Batty for his input on an earlier draft of this briefing. The contents of this briefing (including all analysis and opinions) are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions or thinking of the FFA Secretariat or its Members.

2 ‘DTI sees tuna exports most vulnerable to loss of GSP+’, Business World Online, 19 January 2017.  Available at: http://www.bworldonline.com; ‘Exports can withstand EU GSP+ loss’, Philippines Star, 19 January 2017.  Available at: http://www.philstar.com

3 ‘Philippines moves towards re-introducing death penalty’, RTE, 2 March 2017.  Available at: http://www.rte.ie/news/

4 EU, Advancing Toward A Multilateral Outcome on Fisheries Subsidies in the WTO, WTO Negotiating Group on Rules, TN/RL/GEN/181, 20 October 2016. Available at: http://www.wto.org

5 ACP Group, Principles and Elements for Concluding Negotiations of Fisheries Subsidies Rules in the WTO’, WTO Negotiating Group on Rules, TN/TL/GEN/182, 16 November 2016.  Available at: http://www.wto.org

6 LDC Group, LDC Group Submission on Elements for WTO Fisheries Subsidies Disciplines, WTO Negotiating Group on Rules, TN/RL/GEN/184, 22 December 2016.  Available at: http://www.wto.org

7 Argentina et. al., A Framework to Guide the Multilateral Negotiations to Eliminate Harmful Fisheries Subsidies, WTO Negotiating Group on Rules, TN/RL/GEN/183, 29 November 2016.  Available at: http://www.wto.org

8 ‘Chair outlines way forward for talks on fisheries subsidies’, WTO, 1 March 2017.  Available at: http://www.wto.org

9 ‘WTO members review proposals for addressing fisheries subsidies’, WTO, 25 January 2017. Available at: http://www.wto.org

10 ‘Shanghai Kaichuang sells trawler to non-listed parent company’, Undercurrent News, 7 December 2016. Available at: http://www.undercurrentnews.com

11 Shanghai Kaichuang Marine International Co. Ltd., Board Meeting, Bloomberg News, 24 January 2017. Available at: http://www.bloomberg.com 

12 Shanghai Kaichuang Marine Intl Co Ltd Business Summary, 4-Traders. Accessed 28 February 2017. Available at: http://www.4-traders.com 

13 ‘Shanghai Kaichuang gets CNY 135m gov’t subsidy’ Undercurrent News, 21 December 2016. Available at: http:// www.undercurrentnews.com

14 ‘Shanghai Kaichuang Marine International to swing to profit in FY 2016’, Rueters, 25 January 2017. Available at: http://www.reuters.com

15 Harkell, L. ‘Large Chinese fishing firm turns loss into profit with $12.2 m subsidy’, Undercurrent News, 20 January 2017. Available at http://www.undercurrrentnews.com

16 ‘CNFC Overseas Fisheries to buy fishing-boat assets for 163 million yuan’, Rueters, 22 February 2017. Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL4N1G73UQ?type=companyNews

17 ‘Give a man a fish—five facts on China’s distant water fishing subsidies’ Greenpeace, 8 August 2016. Available at:  http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/news/blog/5-problems-with-chinas-dist...

18 ‘China pledges to shrink its fishing fleet by 20,000 vessels’, Undercurrent News, 27 January 2017. Available at: http://www.undercurrentnews.com

19 ‘Fighting illegal fishing: Commission lifts ‘yellow cards’ for Curacao and Solomon Islands’, European Commission, 22 February 2017.  Available at: http://ec.europa.eu

20 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; Seafood Monitoring Program. Available at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/12/09/2016-29324/magnuson...

21 ‘National Fisheries Institute Sues NOAA over new seafood fraud import rules claiming regulatory overreach’, Seafood News, 10 January 2017. Available at: http://www.seafoodnews.com 

22 Christine Blank, ‘NFI sues NOAA over new IUU rule’, SeafoodSource, 9 January 2017. Available at: http://www.seafoodsource.com 

23 This article is based on various documents from the 91st Meeting of IATTC and personal communication with selected attendees. IATTC documents available at: http://www.iattc.org

24 J.E. Powers and P.A.H. Medley, 2016, ‘An evaluation of the sustainability of global tuna stocks relative to Marine Stewardship Council Criteria (Version 4). ISSF Technical Report 2016-19. International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, Washington DC. Available at: http://iss-foundation.org/

25 ‘ISSF report shows management of many tuna stocks falling short of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Sustainability standards’, ISSF Press Release. 24 January 2017. Available at: http://www.iss-foundation.org/ 

26 Full letter available here: https://static.undercurrentnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/FINAL_let...

27 Information on this certification process was gathered from the MSC website: https://fisheries.msc.org/en/fisheries/northeastern-tropical-pacific-pur...

28 Niel Ramsden, ‘Over 50 animal protection groups question MSC’s bycatch standards’, Undercurrent News, 26 January 2017. Available at: http://www.undercurrentnews.com 

29 Liam Campling and Elizabeth Havice, 2016. ‘Fisheries subsidies, development and the global trade regime’, Trade and Environment Review 2016: Fish Trade, pp 70-77. Geneva: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Available at: http://unctad.org/en/pages/PublicationWebflyer.aspx?publicationid=1662 

30 Christine Blank, ‘Seafood leaders react after Trump kills TPP’, SeafoodSource, 24 January 2017. Available at: http://www.seafoodsource.com

31 Matilde Mereghetti, ‘US withdrawal from TPP to boost rising power of Chinese, Thai tuna firms’, Undercurrent News, 30 January 2017. Available at: http://www.undercurrentnews.com 

32 Cliff White, ‘Trump’s top 5 decision impacting seafood’, Seafood Source, 31 January. Available at: http://www.seafoodsource.com

33 ‘FishWise releases traceability and social responsibility white papers aimed at strengthening efforts in the seafood industry’, FishWise, 1 February 2017. Available at: http://www.fishwise.org

34 FishWise 2016. Social Responsibility in the Global Seafood Industry:  Background and Resources.  Available at: http://www.fishwise.org

35 Fishwise 2016. Advancing Traceability in the Seafood Industry: Assessing Challenges and Opportunities. Available at: http://www.fishwise.org