When we open a can of tuna, we would like to believe that it has been caught not only in a responsible and sustainable manner that meets international market standards such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification scheme but we want to be assured that it has been caught by a fisherman whose welfare and safety are met whilst at onboard fishing at sea. This applies to all fishers from both foreign and nationals on board fishing vessels.
This Fishing Industry Association (PNG) Inc., (FIA PNG) and its members are taking the lead in the pacific region to ensure that the social responsibility, social accountability, and social sustainability of its crews onboard fishing vessels meet the settings on voluntary standards and certified against normative references. FIA PNG’s presentation at the IOM and FFA joint workshop held in Nadi, Fiji Islands, is testimonial of its commitment to upholding the welfare and safety of all its crew.
CSR & MSC Officer, Clare Tutuana, representing FIA PNG, was passionate in her delivery on this topic and the importance of addressing issues surrounding social accountability and human rights welfare among the fishers and crew members which can be IUU (Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated) fishing if left unchecked. As a Papua New Guinean and a Pacific Islander, Tutuana shared the FIA PNG experience of addressing and adhering to standards and certification.
Ms. Clare stated that "We at FIA PNG, is an industry that is low risk, and our members through the association have applied for the FISH (Fairness, Integrity, Safety, and Health) Standard for Crew Certification Scheme. FIA PNG is now in process of receiving FISH Certification Standard for Crew. This is the fruit of having 2 nd party audits conducted on our fishing fleets, and we have also carried out internal audit exercises that is ongoing against our Social Responsibility and Human Rights on-board v3.0 procedure which is an auditable tool that stems from our Responsible Sourcing Policy v6.0 manual. We have been able to obtain verifiable evidence for the non-conformities identified during 2 nd party audit findings to be closed with Corrective Action Plans (CAP) and Preventive Action Plans ( PAP) through the application of root cause analysis on our fishing fleet operators.
She added that “We have not reinvented the wheel, the FIA PNG experience is a solution and answer and is based on a methodology through the Seafoodmatter Social Accountability On board benchmark assessment tool."
She further stated that “The Seafoomatter Social Accountability On-board benchmark tool has (IMO, ILO, HR, and management system) evaluated +54 new guidances, codes of conduct, regulations, and commitments launched between 2016 and 2022 put together. We are bringing an experience that is not only robust, but we bring the truth, an honest experience that you can trust. FIA PNG is sharing an experience that can address social dimensions of IUU fishing activities in the Pacific Island Countries collectively”.
FIA PNG Recommendations are to:
Build on existing tuna fishing industry practices, records, and compliance, a management system to support your social labor initiative.
Assess and collaborate with recruitment agencies for a better Crewmembers welfare
Develop audit tools & metrics to improve data collection whilst at sea
Adapt and use technologies for a continuous monitoring
Launch a capability-building series on the Pacific - follow FIA PNG implementation model (Seafoodmatter Methodology)
Support your process only with competent and qualified assessors
Ms Tutuana further remarked that, “As an industry representative for the Pacific Island employers, I can say the PNG experience through the FIA PNG can be a lesson for education that other Pacific Island countries can emulate to bring about tangible changes for the betterment of its fishers and crew members in the tuna Industry. We want a system that is not just robust with a management system, a transparent system that ensures findings are made public, and an accountable system that meets standards, but we want a system that promotes traceability at the forefront of technology advancement, a system with connections in the global seafood supply chains, we want a system that is answerable. We believe, the FIA PNG experience is this system that can bring tangible change, a welcoming sea change”.
By Clare Tutuana - CSR & MSC Officer, Fishing Industry Association (PNG) Inc.
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