Thai Union is world’s first company to sign ocean bycatch pledge

Thai Union became the world’s first company to sign a pledge to reduce bycatch – the inadvertent capture of endangered, threatened and protected fish species – as part of a commitment to sustainable fishing by one of the largest companies in the global seafood business.

“It’s great that Thai Union is starting the movement,” said Kathryn Novak, biodiversity and nature director at the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP). “But reducing bycatch in commercial fisheries will only happen if the entire industry adopts this level of commitment.”

The pledge is another step by Thai Union to preserve the health of the oceans, the environment and biodiversity, along with conforming to responsible business practices and helping to reform the fishing industry.

The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) conducted research on the risks to sharks, seabirds, turtles and other marine wildlife in the fisheries that supply the company. It also helped analyze Thai Union’s tuna fishery improvement projects.

Thai Union did a “bycatch audit” of its operations and the results are available online, demonstrating the company’s improved transparency. The audit was conducted as part of SFP’s Protecting Ocean Wildlife initiative, an international, industry-led effort to address marine wildlife bycatch.

In March, Thai Union announced it would only source seafood from vessels that are implementing best practices to protect ocean wildlife from bycatch.

“We are proud to be the first company to sign the pledge, and we urge other seafood companies to join us in this commitment,” said Adam Brennan, Thai Union’s group director of sustainability. “It is only through the efforts of leaders in our industry that we will achieve the results and ultimate goals in protecting and restoring our endangered marine life.”