The Global Mahi Supply Chain Roundtable focuses on monitoring and supporting fishery improvement projects (FIPs) in global mahi-mahi fisheries. The participants are leading importers of mahi-mahi in the North American market.
SR participants engage with the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) about improvements in science and management at the regional fisheries management organization (RFMO) level and coordinate internationally to meet these improvements through participation in COREMAHI. Participants advocate for better policy and management with national governments. They engage vendors on sustainability issues and ask their suppliers to participate in FIPs and implement best practices and improvements.
6 Global Mahi FIPs
19 Roundtable Participating Companies
1 Certified/Sustainable Mahi Fisheries
50 % Global Mahi Production Improving or Sustainable
Impact & Updates
SR participants played a key role in establishing COREMAHI, a group of mahi processors and producers in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru, the principal exporters of mahi in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. COREMAHI coordinates regional actions to promote the sustainability of mahi fisheries in the region through better science and responsible management.
Q3 2021 Update:
- SR participants engaged the US delegates of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) through a letter campaign requesting the delegates to support the mahi scientific research plan presented by delegates from Ecuador and Peru.
- SFP hosted an SR webinar meeting, in conjunction with the Dolphinfish Research Program, to request support for a pilot tagging project in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru to collect data to support FIP objectives related to determining stock structure of mahi in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO).
Currently, 50 percent of global mahi volume is considered sustainable or improving, and an additional 15 percent of global production could achieve the sustainable or improving categories via engagement through the Global Mahi SR.
Mahi-mahi, also known as dolphinfish, is found in tropic and subtropic waters worldwide. It is a migratory pelagic species that is highly resilient to fishing, due to its rapid growth and early maturation. However, many regions of the world have reached maximum levels of capture and are seeing decreases in levels of production.
Most mahi-mahi production comes from artisanal fisheries and is an important source of income for fishers. These fisheries have specific management challenges related to stock structure; monitoring, control, and surveillance; and data recording and reporting. Mahi-mahi fisheries also face a lack of national and regional management measures, low observer coverage, and interaction problems with sea turtles and sharks.
Activity & Workplan
For 2021-2022, SFP has advised the Supply Chain Roundtable participants of the following improvement needs:
- Formalizing unregulated fleets to contribute to ending illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
- Identifying the stock structure of mahi-mahi in the EPO, through genetic studies and conducting a tagging program.
- Conducting conventional stock assessments and adopting biological reference points and harvest control rules for mahi-mahi and key bycatch species (e.g., sharks, billfish).
- Adopting co-management approaches in the mahi fishery in the EPO, through regional coordination efforts between countries.
- Mandatory and standardized data collection and observer programs, with a minimum coverage of 20 percent of the longline fishing operations, to document bycatch and discards of ETP species, including sharks, turtles, and other non-target species.
- Industry-recognized adoption of changes to fishing practices to minimize the bycatch and mortality rates of ETP species, such as those outlined in the Best Practices for Reducing Bycatch in Longline Tuna Fisheries report.
- Encouraging producers and key vendors to engage in existing FIPs, to ensure national coverage of improvement efforts in key countries (Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru), and encouraging FIP implementers to coordinate efforts to enhance regional impact at the IATTC level.