The Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) has highlighted the work done by FIA PNG and their RSP in the pillar of Marine litter and Fishing gear to mitigate the negative impact on the Ocean ecosystem, in their annual report 2022 published on 30 August 2023. This is a recognition of the innovativee spirit of the FIA PNG chairman and members. The report starts as follows:
In efforts to improve the long-term sustainability of fishing in Papua New Guinea, the Papua New Guinea Fishing Industry Association (FIA PNG) worked with the nonprofit Seafoodmatter to develop a responsible sourcing policy (RSP) for the country’s purse seine tuna fishery. The FIA PNG represents nine fleets and 55 vessels, 93% of which are free school (FAD-free). The RSP implements regulations and requirements across an array of international agreements—from MARPOL Annex V to UN FAO’s Voluntary Guidelines for the Marking of Fishing Gear, including the GGGI’s Best Practice Frameworks. The RSP contains four key pillars, one of which focuses on reducing sources of marine litter and including procedures to prevent fishing gear loss.
FIA PNG ensured that the fisheries it represents adhere to the RSP by working with Seafoodmatter to develop a benchmark methodology and auditing tool for the RSP and by conducting annual second-party audits. Audits help fisheries understand how best practices are being integrated into fisheries and how improvements are occurring over time. Assessments are self-reported—participating companies must include photos, procedures, and documentation to demonstrate adherence to the RSP— and FIA PNG reviews the reports for consistency and conducts on-site second-party inspections. Audits include seven principles, including the onboard management of gear, voluntary reporting of loss, gear marking, and responsible marine debris disposal.
The initial audit occurred in 2021 and established the baseline for fleets to be measured against in the following years. The results of the 2022 audit led to the first summary report that allowed the FIA PNG auditing team to verify the challenges, needs, and progress of their fleets after the first year of the self-administered audits in 2021. Results showed the need for additional training and awareness of FIA PNG’s approximately 1,600 crew members around fishing gear management. Not surprisingly, results also demonstrated that improvement is needed in the prevention of gear loss.
For the full story please read the full report here: