Finalist, Seafood Champion Awards Vision Category

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As one of the world’s largest tuna suppliers, Tri Marine is uniquely positioned to make a significant positive impact in sustaining global tuna fisheries. Tri Marine’s vision is rooted in a commitment to empowering local communities to benefit from tuna resources caught in their waters. This philosophy has inspired much of its sustainability efforts to protect local resources, and ensure communities where the fish is caught and processed see long-term economic benefits.

Some examples of Tri Marine’s sustainability leadership and innovation include:

  • Certifying fisheries to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standards for sustainability, pioneering FAD-free purse seine caught tuna products, and leading improvements in the longline sector.
  • Providing vertical integration and traceability from catch to shelf, including a code on all of its Ocean Naturals brand tuna products that enables consumers to log onto a website and learn where, when and by whom their tuna was caught.
  • Greenpeace recently rated Tri Marine’s Ocean Naturals products as one of the best sustainable tuna choices for U.S. consumers, demonstrating the market value in sustainable fishing.

In addition to these activities, the company is active in policy work to improve tuna fisheries management and help enforce anti-IUU regulations around the world. Tri Marine is also a founding member of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF).

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What local and/or international partners does Tri Marine work with?

Tri Marine is an international business, with operations around the world. Major brands worldwide rely on Tri Marine as their tuna supply chain partner, including the Bolton Group (Rio Mare, Saupiquet, and Palmera). In addition to its business partners, Tri Marine also collaborates with the public and non-profit sectors, including participation in U.S., American Samoa and Solomon Islands policy development relating to fishery management and in regional fisheries management organization meetings, ISSF, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

How well does Tri Marine demonstrate the qualities of the category?

Tri Marine provides a clear, distinctive and specific vision of the future that significantly advances the sustainable seafood movement. The company is dedicated to global leadership in sustainability and environmental stewardship and has been recognized for making the business case for sustainable fishing for the tuna industry. In fact, Tri Marine was the first to bring FAD-free tuna to the U.S. market in 2012, a major milestone expanding the availability of responsibly caught canned tuna.

In what ways has Tri Marine positively affected, or mitigated negative impacts of, the seafood industry?

Tri Marine positively affects and mitigates the negative impacts of the seafood industry through a multi-pronged approach. Tri Marine maintains strict guidelines for avoiding IUU fishing by enforcing full compliance on its own vessels and those of its suppliers with all applicable laws and regulations. The company develops and brings the most sustainable tuna products available to market, while also driving the fisheries improvements needed in other areas. This includes direct investment toward improving fisheries science and management, such as better observer coverage in the longline sector and promoting capacity-control measures.

In what way do you feel Tri Marine’s story could inspire others and communicate successes achieved in sustainable seafood?

Industry is often in the crosshairs of environmental policy and NGO efforts. Many companies are weary of engagement and action that could make them a target. When other major industry actors see that a company the size of Tri Marine can implement comprehensive sustainability policies and be rewarded in the marketplace, it serves as an important and inspirational example to follow.

How would the work serve as a replicable model for others who want to have a similar impact?

Other industry leaders can look to Tri Marine’s successful sustainability model and recognize the importance of protecting a resource so that communities that rely on it can thrive. At the same time, the industry can continue to source healthy, nutritious protein for a growing global population. The availability of tuna and other seafood resources in the future is contingent on sound sustainability practices in the present. The industry is squarely in the position to take the lead in those efforts.

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“We see Tri Marine’s selection as a finalist for the Seafood Champion Awards as acknowledgement for our decision to do what we think is right for the tuna resource, for the environment, and for the communities that have depended on tuna for generations. We are persuaded that doing the right thing is good for business.”

—Renato Curto, CEO of the Tri Marine Group

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