IS MY AYAM BRAND™ TUNA SUSTAINABLE?

Even though AYAM BRAND™ tuna represents less than 0.1% of the yearly world tuna catch, AYAM BRAND™ is committed to being a brand that stands for quality and acts with responsibility by taking a strong stand for sustainable fish sourcing and compliant fishing and manufacturing practices.

 

We do not have a direct relationship with tuna fishing vessels as we work with canned fish factories, which produce our recipes to our specifications, and under our quality control. Our area of influence is in the purchasing specifications we provide to the canned tuna manufacturers.

 

The use of stringent tuna purchasing specifications that require sustainable fish sourcing is our way of putting pressure on the tuna fishing industry to make progress not only on sustainable tuna fishing but also on fair and compliant labour practices.
Manufacturers who have been selected to produce for AYAM BRAND™ must accept our sustainability specifications.

 

THEY COVER THREE MAIN CATEGORIES:

  1. THE BIOMASS

    Simple rules to assure the sustainability of the tuna used for AYAM BRAND™ production.

  2. THE CODE OF CONDUCT

    It is mandatory for our suppliers and their own suppliers to ensure fair and compliant labour and business practices.

  3. THE RECOMMENDATIONS

    They put pressure on the industry for improvement in catching methods that limit bycatch.

 

1 - THE BIOMASS

Rule 1: AYAM BRAND™ only uses tuna species, which are not critically endangered, endagered or vulnerable as per IUCN Redlist (https://www.iucnredlist.org/).

Rule 2: AYAM BRAND™ only uses tuna species, species which are not endangered and from biomass that is healthy (not overfished and not undergoing overfishing). From stocks described by the Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMO).

Data on the biomass situation is assessed by RFMO, international intergovernmental organizations dedicated to the sustainable management of fishery resources in international water. We follow the Indian Ocean Tuan Commission (IOTC/iota.org) and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC/www.wcpfc.int) in particular. Most of their data is published by ISSF (International Seafood Sustainability Foundation HTTP://ISS-FOUNDATION.ORG/)

Rule 3: We do not accept tuna supply from illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing.

Rule 4: We do not accept tuna supply from fishing vessels not certified as Dolphin friendly or practicising shark finning or fishing endangered species.

Rule 5: AYAM BRAND™ sources ONLY THREE species of tuna:

 

(1) SKIPJACK TUNA (KATSUWONUS PELAMIS)

Most of our canned tuna is produced using skipjack tuna (49% of our tuna volumes). The skipjack used by our brands is caught in the Pacific Ocean, in areas assessed by WCPFC as not overfished, but they could come from any other fishing area where skipjack tuna resources are healthy (not overfished) as described by RFMOs.

In the yearly period 2018/2019, 100% of the skipjack tuna was sourced in line with this sustainability specification. This achievement is in line with the previous period 2017/2018.

The stock abundace of skipjack in Western Pacific is assessed healthy. (page 44 of the report ISSF 2019-12: Status of the World Fisheries for Tuna. October 2019*).

Download report from this link: ISSF 2019-12 Status of the World Fisheries for Tuna October 2019

 

(2) YELLOWFIN (THUNNUS ALBACARES)

DAP uses yellowfin tuna (35% of our tuna volumes) for canned tuna in oil or in water. In some parts of the world, yellowfin tuna is overfished. Our requirement is that yellowfin tuna for our brands is fished from the Western Pacific, which is assessed as not overfished by the WCPFC.

In the yearly period 2018/2019, 100% of the yellowfin tuna was sourced in line with this sustainability specification. This represents an improvement of 25% versus the previous period. Still, we have to face the fact that we may in the near future, experience several months without any supply from the Western Pacific. The only solution to further improve this sustainability ratio on yellowfin was to reduce the importance of this species in our production.

The stock abundance of Yellowfin in Western Central Pacific is assessed healthy. (page 40 pf the report ISSF 2019-12: Status of the World Fisheries for Tuna. Octover 2019*).

Download report from this link: ISSF 2019-12 Status of the World Fisheries for Tuna October 2019

 

(3) TONGGOL (THUNNUS TONGGOL)

We managed in about 16% of our supplies, to replace yellowfin by a lesser known species, Tonggol. In terms of sustainability balance, such a species presents both a benefit and a drawback. On the plus side, Tonggol is a coastal fish caught by local small-scale fisherman. It contributes to the local economy and it is not listed as an endangered species of tuna. On the down side, these local species of tuna are not used by the major industries as they are less straightforward to collect and to process, therefore there is no official monitoring for their biomass.

Ayam Brand™ closely monitors information and reports from the RFMOs and ISSF to keep updated on the status of skipjack, yellowfin and tonggol tuna biomass.

 

2 - THE CODE OF CONDUCT

AYAM BRAND™ works with suppliers, who share the same code of conduct for their factories and who, in turn, make it mandatory for their own suppliers.

  • Labour and social condition comply fully with national laws and international treaties.
  • No corruption or bribery.

 

3 - THE RECOMMENDATIONS

We play our role in pushing our suppliers to improve catching methods for skipjack and yellowfin tuna in order to limit bycatch (accidental catch of other species).

 

Most AYAM BRAND™ tuna is caught by purse seine fishing vessels and a small percentage from pole and line.

We accept:

  • Purse seines
  • Pole & line fisheries
  • Troll or handling fisheries

We do not accept:

  • Longlines
  • Vessels intentionally setting on marine mammals or sharks

 

As of today, our suppliers are unable to distinguish between the percentage catch of purse seine on free school tuna versus purse seine on FADs as they are mixed in the fishing vessels. But we are in constant dialogue with our suppliers who are committed to collecting data and sharing technical information. This should allow us a better understanding of the situation in a short time frame in order to improve our purchasing specifications.

 

As a brand involved in canned fish, we regularly express our opinion that marine reserves (MRs) and Marine Protection Areas (MPAs) should be enlarged and that well-managed quotas for fish caught based on scientific data is an effective tool to manage and to protect fish resources for future generations.

We specifically express our support to promote following areas as Marines reserves and we pledge to not accept fish supply from this seas:

  • the Antartic Ross Sea
  • Pulau Besar and Merlimau in Melaka, Malaysia
  • Port Dickson marine park in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
  • Pulau Lima in Johor, Malaysia
  • Pulau Songsong in Kedah, Malaysia

We are also working on adding a certified sustainable pole and line canned tuna range to Ayam Brand™ canned tuna, so AYAM BRAND™ could offer this option to consumers in the near future.

 

Ayam Brand publishes every year in full transparency the data on the sustainability achieved in tuna supply in Denis Group annual ESG report (available with the link: https://denisgroup.net/ESG-report/Issue-3/ESG-REPORT-ISSUE-3.pdf).

 

AYAM BRAND™ is committed to the sustainability and transparency of its products' supply chain. We welcome any further questions at "CONTACT US".

 

 

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