Earth Island established the Dolphin Safe standards for fishing vessels to ensure that dolphins were not chased, harassed, netted or killed during tuna fishing. This program has been one of the most successful conservation efforts for the oceans, saving the lives of 80,000 or more dolphins each year.
Our monitors visit tuna canneries, storage facilities and fishing vessels to check catch records and inspect catches. Onboard monitors for government agencies also ensure the Dolphin Safe standards were met.
As of July 2015, there were twelve accredited and verified Dolphin Safe processing and fishing companies under the International Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The lists for all Dolphin Safe companies can be viewed at www.dolphinsafe.org.
This year, two teams from Earth Island’s Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program Philippines conducted the annual Dolphin Safe audits to all tuna companies based in PNG. Team 1 consisted of Dong Pading and Team 2 consisted of Carlito Flores and Weng Castillo.
For the first day (June22) in PNG, Teams 1 and 2 conducted a Dolphin Safe audit of Fairwell Investment Ltd. PNG in Port Moresby.
On the second day (June 23), the two teams separated. Dong Pading conducted the monitoring and audits in the tuna canneries/processing factories in Lae where most of the canneries and processing factories are located, with frequent tuna landings from big tuna purse seiners operating in PNG waters. During the scheduled visit in Lae, it was expected that there would be arrivals of new fishing fleets from companies based in Taiwan. These fishing companies have chartering agreement with the Majestic Seafood Corp. Ltd. But during our scheduled Dolphin Safe monitoring in Lae, only the Taiwanese fishing company Shun He PNG Ltd. with two brand new purse seine vessels, F/V Glory Pacific 1 and F/V Glory Pacific 8, arrived in Lae. The two purse seiners were also inspected by the PNG National Fisheries Authority (NFA) for clearance to fish in the PNG waters.
Moreover, two big canneries and processing facilities were also audited for Dolphin Safe compliance in Lae, the International Food Corp. (IFC) and Frabelle PNG Ltd. These two companies also have chartering agreements with tuna fishing companies that operates in PNG waters.
After Port Moresby, Carlito Flores and Weng Castillo conducted Dolphin Safe audits in Madang where the RD Company has a tuna cannery, cold storage and purse seine fishing operations. Several local (PNG flagged) and foreign companies also deliver tuna in Madang, mostly for RD.
After Madang, Team 2 proceeded to Wewak where frequent fish transshipments and deliveries take place year round. There is one processing company in Wewak, the South Seas Tuna Corp. (SSTC). The SSTC has a business relationship with FCF in Taiwan.
After covering Port Moresby, Madang, Lae and Wewak, the two teams converged again in Rabaul for port and transshipment monitoring. Rabaul is another busy transshipment port in PNG like Wewak. In Rabaul, the EII Monitoring teams boarded several carrier/reefer vessels and tuna purse seiners.
One company in PNG prior to the scheduled visit was in nonconformance with the Dolphin Safe Company Policy and so was not included anymore in the itinerary. The detailed nonconformance report was sent to our head office in Berkeley, CA, for appropriate sanctions.
Through detailed audits such as these, we can ensure consumers that the tuna they buy was caught by methods that do not harm any dolphins or whales. Earth Island carries out these and similar audits all around the globe, to verify the Dolphin Safe label on canned tuna.
Photos by Dong Pading/Earth Island Philippines.