2015 Sustainability Report

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Marine Conservation and Responsible Fishing

We recognize that we cannot call ourselves sustainable without ensuring that our suppliers use responsible fishing practices that will conserve ocean stocks and protect eco-system health for the long-term. At the same time, we realize that ocean sustainability is not an issue that we can tackle alone. That's why we've joined forces with some of the world's most respected ocean experts to develop and implement programs designed to drive sustainability to the heart of our procurement practices.

Through the end of 2015 and into 2016, we've made significant progress in developing a more detailed approach to marine conservation. Visit the Thai Union Sea Change page devoted to the company's Tuna Roadmap to learn more our 2020 goals, progress against those goals and key accomplishments to date.

Our Take on Activist Campaigns

For the last few years, the tuna industry has been targeted by Greenpeace, alleging unsustainable tuna fishing practices. We take these concerns seriously and have invited engagement with involved nonprofit organizations through science-based, multi-stakeholder groups such as ISSF. To learn more about activist demands and our response, download our FAQs about this issue.

Collaboration with Peers and Partners

In 2009, environmental champions, scientists and industry representatives, including Chicken of the Sea, launched the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF). Based on shared concerns about the future of tuna fisheries and a desire to do something about it, the ISSF created a clear mission: to undertake science-based initiatives to conserve use of tuna stock, reduce bycatch and promote ecosystem health. Chicken of the Sea is a founding member of ISSF, involved in leadership activities and as a key funding source for conservation activities.

As part of its commitment to transparency and accountability, ISSF engages a third-party auditor, MRAG Americas, to audit its participating companies. This audit is conducted annually to evaluate compliance with ISSF’s Conservation Measures and Commitments.

Chicken of the Sea's 2015 audit results (released in April 2016), which covers more than a dozen criteria including traceability, onboard observers, and captains training show that we are meeting, and often exceeding, ISSF standards.  
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ISSF Focus Areas

In April 2014, the ISSF Board outlined six key improvement areas to address when working on future commitments:

- Control and Reduce Fishing Capacity

- Mitigate Bycatch

- Eliminate Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported Fishing

- Expand Data Support to Regional Fishery Management Organizations

- Advance Performance in Monitoring, Control and Surveillance

- Improve Overall Tuna Stock Health
Spotlight on Bycatch

The ISSF Bycatch Project, now in its sixth iteration, is a veteran group of scientists and fishermen that travel through the Pacific Ocean in search of better fishing practices. They study the behavior and aggregation of fish and observe the behavior of sharks and tunas inside an enclosed net in order to identify techniques for freeing non-target species from fishing nets.

Most of the world’s tuna catch is made by purse seine vessels, which use a net to encircle and catch tuna. The Bycatch Project’s aim is to mitigate bycatch in the purse seine fishery and is particularly focused on operations utilizing floating objects, called FADs.

Learn more about ISSF's At-Sea Bycatch Mitigation Research Activities and FADs.
Protecting Turtles

Since 2010, ISSF has undertaken extensive work in protecting sea turtles from habitat loss to nesting ground destruction, predation and bycatch. Chicken of the Sea is proud to support these efforts. Learn more about our work at the links below.

- Educating fishermen on sea turtle protection 

- Mitigating bycatch of turtle and shark 

- Closer look at Training Costa Rican fishermen, observers, and government agencies on sea turtle survival
More Resources from ISSF

While the complete list of ISSF reports, infographics, governance documents and videos can be found directly on the ISSF website, here are a few of our favorite:

Status of the Stocks: an interactive map that allows users to click on any region of the world to see the current status of fish stocks

- Skippers' Workshops: as a part of their #BycatchProject, ISSF offers workshops around the globe to help deliver best practices to tuna fishers

Efforts to end illegal fishing: a round-up of information and resources on how ISSF is working to end illegal fishing around the world
Prohibition on Shark Finning

Shark finning—the retention of fins and discard of the remaining carcass at sea—is an abhorrent practice that contravenes various international rules and regulations. As a responsible member of the maritime community, Chicken of the Sea supports the elimination of shark finning through prohibition by Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) and mandatory reporting of shark catches by species.

We have also recently adopted a policy that officially prohibits the practice of shark finning onboard vessels that supply our catch. We will not transact business with any vessel that has been identified by an RFMO or national authority to have practiced shark finning, fails to publicly disclose its policy banning shark finning or fails to enforce such a policy.

To allow time for companies to formally adopt finning policies and put appropriate systems in place for enforcement, we allowed a temporary grace period during which time companies were able to consult on the necessary steps. All policies and enforcement systems were in place by September 1, 2012. Read our complete policy on finning here
Dolphin-Safe Policy

Chicken of the Sea® implemented "The Mermaid Cares" dolphin-safe policy in April 1990 and is among the industry’s leaders in implementing programs to prevent accidental dolphin mortality. All tuna purchased, processed and sold by Chicken of the Sea is dolphin-safe... period! There is no flexibility in our policy. All the suppliers of our raw tuna and all suppliers of finished goods must be 100% dolphin-safe. None of the tuna we purchase is caught in association with dolphins. Our commitment to help solve the dolphin mortality problem has been long-standing, and we at Chicken of the Sea can truly say, "The Mermaid Cares."

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