What is the Vietnam Yellowfin Tuna Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP)?
Rooted in earlier projects by WWF Vietnam focused on bycatch best practices, the Vietnam yellowfin tuna FIP process began in 2013 with the completion of a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) pre-assessment. An FIP Action Plan
was completed in early 2014, which describes the necessary FIP activities, with associated responsible parties and timeframes, required to meet the MSC standard.
The FIP was formally launched in April 2014, having entered the implementation stage, with activities commenced and slated to be tracked and audited annually through to 2018. WWF Coral Triangle Program serves as the FIP Coordinator and WWF Vietnam is the National FIP Manager. The Vietnam Tuna Association
(VinaTuna) is also a member of the FIP Coordination Unit together with WWF.
Some of the stakeholders involved in this FIP include:
- World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
- Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)
- Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD)
- Department of Capture Fisheries and Resource Protection (DECAFIREP)
- Research Institute of Marine Fisheries (RIMF)
- International exporters/suppliers, local processors and fishermen
FIP Partner Agreements
Several international suppliers and exporters spanning most major markets have entered into FIP Partner Agreements
to help ensure the effective implementation of the FIP Action Plan, including identification of on-the-ground activities taken up by industry. The Partner Agreements further aim to ensure that recognized industry partners are achieving appropriate standards for traceability, corporate communication and marketing in their FIP-related activities.
These Agreements also help finance core FIP activities, and open other funding channels through diverse supply chains. Several WWF National Offices are likewise engaged in these corporate arrangements.
The FIP is prototyping the application of Fit as FIP
traceability to ensure that Vietnam yellowfin tuna is differentiated in the marketplace. This requirement is particularly important in Vietnam where export volume exceeds domestic catch and over half of total exports (i.e. frozen yellowfin steak and loins) use foreign raw material which is re-exported.
FIP Partners are required to have a traceability system in place within 1 year of signing their Agreement, and for this system to be audited by an independent 3rd party within 18 months. These measures will help ensure unqualified products do not dilute the marketplace with inappropriate FIP fish.
Which Processors Can Provide FIP Traceability?
Several Vietnamese processors have made a commitment to support the use and adoption of the FIP traceability system and design that has been developed and agreed-upon by consensus by FIP stakeholders. In this way, these companies, as domestic processors, are recognized as being able to provide FIP eligible products to an appropriate FIP Partner/Participant company.
As of November, 2018, the list of participating processors includes:
In the pre-assessment, a number of MSC performance indicators (PIs) were scored such that the fishery would likely either fail under an MSC full assessment (score less than 60) or pass with conditions (score between 60 and 80).
These include the lack of a robust harvest strategy, lack of harvest control rules and tools, lack of data on species interactions in the fishery including shark interactions, insufficient measures for bycatch mitigation, limited understanding of ecosystem impacts from the fishery, and lack of stakeholder involvement in decision-making processes.
Please see the Action Plan
for a more detailed review of issues and priorities for improvement