Our Commitments
  • Food Safety and Quality
  • Customer Focus
  • Sustainability Policy
  • Social Accountability
  • Environmental Responsibility
  • Shark Finning Policy
  • Dolphin Safe Policy

Food Safety and Quality

It is the policy of South Seas Tuna Corporation Limited (SSTC) to consistently deliver wholesome, safe and legal products to the various markets that we serve.  In order to meet the stringent and diverse quality needs and expectations of our customers, we maintain an effective food safety and quality management programs that incorporate the key food safety regulatory requirements, internationally recognized quality standards, and industry accepted practices.  With the aim to continuously improve product quality and ensure safety and legality, we situate controls in all aspects of our operation, from purchase of raw material to shipping of finished products, to monitor and verify effectiveness of our processes and programs. Further, achievement of this policy involves all staff, who is individually responsible for the quality of their work, resulting in a continually improving working environment for all.

Customer Focus

South Seas Tuna Corporation Limited (SSTC) continually strives to become a customer focus organization that never compromises on product safety, quality and legality. In order to achieve its business goals, SSTC will utilize a relationship-based approach and thereby retain existing high value customers, while creating a step change in business with other prospective customers who have the potential to utilize SSTC products. SSTC endeavours to provide consistently safe, legal, and quality products that deliver real business value and aim to meet or exceed customer expectations. Regular contract review with customers enhances a partnership approach while ensuring effective communications is maintained between the two parties at all times.

Our customer focus policy is built around the following key principles:

  • We highly value our customer's business goals, focusing all our efforts towards achieving their requirements.
  • We uphold their privacy and security; genuine respect and confidentiality in all aspects of business collaborations.
  • We will progressively collect, assess, and analyze customer's feedback, to ensure product performance consistently meets their needs and expectations.
  • We will fortify mutual trust by establishing open line of communications that we may effectively listen and promptly implement sustainable improvements as needed.

This policy is accomplished through the consistent implementation of our Food Safety and Quality Management System.

Sustainability Policy

South Seas Tuna Corporation Limited (SSTC) has an important role to play in creating a sustainable future specifically to the marine ecosystem from where we entirely depend on the supplies of our main raw material - tuna. We value and believe that the health of fisheries and conservation measures aimed at assuring a long term supply of fish is in the best interests of consumers, the environment, and future generations. We understand the issues associated with tuna fishing and that as a primary processor, our sourcing policy can have an impact on the marine ecosystem. We therefore work proactively with various specialists to ensure we continuously remain aware of any issues which arise over conservation and tuna stocks. We work closely with the relevant management institutions and with our suppliers to ensure they are operating in a way which will help minimize the impact of our operations on the marine ecosystem and contribute to more sustainable fisheries. This commitment is demonstrated through our membership with the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) and compliance to its policies and principles. This is an internationally recognized global partnership that keeps conservation at the core of its mission and that brings together scientists, the industry and the environmental non-governmental organization community to achieve sustainable tuna fisheries. The ISSF undertake science-based initiatives for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of tuna stocks, reducing by-catch and promoting a healthy marine ecosystem.

Currently we produce frozen precooked tuna loins from Skipjack, Yellow fin and Bigeye species. We deem it crucial to address sustainability in all aspects of our sourcing and production of tuna loins product. We achieve this through our fully integrated food chain. The following guiding principles are adopted in our sourcing of wild caught tuna and we are independently verified against them to ensure that they are reflected in our procedures and have been complied with.

International Compliance

We commit to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and we fully support the RFMOs championed by it. We do not receive and process endangered or critically endangered species from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

Fisheries Management

We uphold actions to strengthen fisheries management objectives for the conservation and wise use of tuna stocks and the conservation of their ecosystems, and actively seek to source tuna from well-managed fisheries. In doing so we promote the use of best practice and take the initiative on actions recommended by the ISSF, by RFMO’s, and by the competent qualified scientific authorities, working with our suppliers to achieve their implementation in a timely manner. We also support efforts to protect important spawning and nursing grounds and to rehabilitate critical habitats. Specifically, we understand the role of spatio-temporal marine reserves as a management tool and proactively work to implement them whenever recommended by RFMOs and science. We will not source fish from areas that RFMOs and/or best available scientific information has indicated need protection.
Through the ISSF we support the application of sound science and the preventative approach to strengthen the management of tuna stocks and action to eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. In this, we collaborate with RFMOs on tagging programmes and information sharing to strengthen scientific advice in the management of fisheries. For example, we provide RFMO’s with details of our tuna unloading receipts in order to allow them to perform cross checks against other sources. This improves information and management.

Ecosystem Impacts

We recognize that tuna fishing can have impacts on the marine environment, including on non-target species. We, as a company that processes tuna product, recognize that these issues are connected to our industry. Therefore, where they are identified by best available science we work proactively with ISSF and our suppliers to ensure that the ecosystem impacts of tuna fishing are minimized through implementation of "best practices" to reduce by-catch, including no-take zones where appropriate, and we encourage others to do so. In doing so, we accept advice from the ISSF, RFMOs and the relevant scientific authorities. For example, as a result of their negative ecosystem impact, we do not currently source fish caught by large scale pelagic drift nets.

We also do not receive tuna from fishing vessels/vessel-owning companies that engage in shark finning, does not have a policy against shark finning, or was found to have previously engaged in shark finning within a period of two years after the conclusion of the investigation determining that shark finning had occurred, provided no further incidents had occurred. Additionally, all the tuna we process is caught mainly by purse seining (primarily from the Western Pacific Ocean). All our activities are also monitored by the Earth Island Institute (EII), ensuring that we are only dealing with suppliers operating under EII's dolphin-safe policy.

Tuna By-catch

By-catch is considered today a major issue in fisheries conservation management. It refers to any fish that is caught during fishing and should not have, e.g. sharks, turtles, etc.. By closely working with ISSF, by RFMO’s, and by the competent qualified scientific authorities, improving best practices (technology, methods), we aim at reducing, if not completely eliminating non-target fish species.

Fishing Operations

We work closely with our suppliers to ensure that fishing operations comply with national and international laws and agreements and with the stock management and fishing methods covered by the appropriate RFMOs. We are always proactive in seeking information and technical advice from qualified scientific authorities and engaging with concerned NGOs.
We actively encourage fishing operations that minimize by-catch. This has been included in our tuna receipts unloading report submitted to the Secretariat of Pacific Community (our RFMO). We actively promote the presence of on-board observers to confirm implementation of best practices to reduce by-catch and juvenile catch.

We take the issue of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing with extreme importance. We commit to be fully compliant with the EU regulation on IUU N° CE/1005/2008. IUU is modern piracy, threatening the capacity of RFMO’s to protect fisheries, and the capacity of the coastal countries governments to comply with regulations.

IUU is a threat to the sustainability of global tuna stocks. We do not receive tuna caught by  IUU vessels; caught by any vessel not on the authorized vessel record of the RFMO where the fish was caught (unless the vessel is not of a size subject to listing on the RFMO vessel record); caught by any vessel not registered with and assigned a registration number by the International Maritime Organization through IHS-Fairplay (unless the vessel is not eligible for such registration); caught by a purse seine vessel and trans-shipped at sea, whether on the high seas or within any Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), territorial waters or archipelagic waters (except as permitted by ISSF measures); caught by a vessel that is not flagged to a member or cooperating non-member of the RFMO having jurisdiction of the area where the fish was caught; caught by any purse seine vessel that does not have a unique vessel identifier (such as an IMO number or other number assigned for vessels ineligible for IMO numbers); Caught by a purse seine vessel for which the captain has not completed annual training on best practices for school and FAD fishing, by-catch reduction and monitoring, control and surveillance, and data reporting practices, and any further curriculum items included in subsequent years; caught by a purse seine vessel that fails to submit FAD logbooks to the RFMO from which such tuna was caught in accordance with the procedures specified by the ISSF; or caught by a purse seine vessel which fails to retain on board all tuna caught except those unfit for human consumption (as defined by the WCPFC CMM 2009-02).  Through our traceability procedure, we ensure no IUU caught tuna is processed in our plant. Being certificated to MCS-COC (Contract Processing and Storage of MSC-Certified Skipjack and Yellow fin Tuna), we have achieved independent recognition in this important area of our management system.

The commitment to uphold this sustainability policy is fundamental to our foregoing success. Together, through this commitment, we will create value to our shareholders, our customers, our business partners, and to the community where we operate.

Social Accountability

South Seas Tuna Corporation Limited (SSTC) recognizes the need for social accountability and is committed to continuously identify, assess, manage and improve the elements of its operations that impact on social accountability. In line with sound business practice, we will:
  • Conduct our business with fairness, honesty, integrity and respect for the interest of our stakeholders;
  • Comply with the laws and regulations within the country where we operate;
  • Prevent the use of child labor and forced or compulsory labor, improve workplace health and safety condition, support freedom of association and right to collective bargaining, prevent discrimination, uphold progressive employee disciplinary practice, and manage a lawful  working hours and compensation structure;
  • Implement a management system with a defined documentation structure (policies, procedures and records), establish accountabilities and responsibilities, utilizing a risk-based assessment approach in identifying and prioritizing areas for improvement and potential nonconformity to social accountability and responsible business sourcing standards, and monitoring methods to measure social performance;
  • Encourage internal involvement and open communication among stakeholders, implement a fair and consistent complaint management and resolution to address workplace grievances and disputes, support external verification and stakeholder engagement to ensure a continuous and sustainable compliance with social accountability and responsible business sourcing standards, and manage an effective and efficient corrective and preventive action program to address nonconformity; 
  • Provide awareness training on social accountability and where required job specific training for employees; and
  • Encourage suppliers and contractors to support our principles and commitment on social accountability and introduce programs aimed at supporting these.

SSTC is committed to comply with all the requirements of social accountability and responsible business sourcing standards and with national and other applicable laws and requirements to which we subscribe.

This policy also reflects SSTC’s commitment to the international human rights principles, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labor Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. The policy statement further reflects SSTC’s part in being a good corporate citizen and the respect to human rights standards in the Sepik Community, Wewak, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea.

This policy is communicated to all SSTC employees and is publicly available on the company's web site.

Environmental Responsibility

South Seas Tuna Corporation Limited (SSTC) affirms our highest respect to the environment and the communities sharing our operations. Our processes have been designed with latest available technologies taking into consideration the least environmental impacts and are being constantly evaluated for relevant upgrades. SSTC shall achieve harmonious balance between our manufacturing and environmental conservation so we may be able to share these resources with the future generations.

The following environmental principles guide all company activities:

  • We uphold legal compliance as the minimum standard for operating performance.
  • We will make environmental concerns an integral part of our planning and decision making process.
  • We strive to prevent pollution and minimize adverse environmental effects, including waste, emissions and discharges from our operations.
  • We aim to minimize the environmental impacts of our operations and product by the efficient use of energy, raw materials, water, and packaging.
  • We shall aim to reduce our environmental footprint by continually improving the efficiency of our natural resource consumption.
  • We utilize risk management processes to control the environmental hazards inherent in our activities.
  • We will continually educate our co-workers and contractors by raising awareness and by providing technical training where appropriate to ensure that the requirements for environmental responsibility are integrated into work practices. This will allow active participation of employees and contractors in making environmental improvement.
  • We strive to be a valued member of the community.

To support our policy, we:

  • Conduct operations in compliance with statutory and regulatory environmental requirements, and the SSTC Standards.
  • Regularly review environmental issues and set and review objectives, key performance indicators and targets.
  • Communicate openly with our co-workers and the community about environmental performance.
  • Develop and implement innovative technologies, industry best practices and effective management systems.
  • Carry out operations in the most energy-efficient way, including reviewing fuel consumption and comparing cost savings and environmental benefits by optimizing use of fossil resources where it is practicable.
  • Control of water quality and systematically monitored waste and effluent disposal.
  • Regularly audit our site to ensure compliance with all current environmental legislation.

It is the leadership and commitment of every SSTC co-worker which will maximize sustainable value for our employees and other key stakeholders, and which helps us achieve our goals and objectives.

Shark Finning Policy

South Seas Tuna Corporation Limited (SSTC) does not endorse the practice of shark finning, which is the retention of any fins while discarding the carcass at sea. We will only purchase from vessel-owning companies that have a published policy prohibiting shark finning on board its vessels, and we will not purchase from any vessel that has been found to have finned for 2 years following the date of the most recent finding.does not endorse the practice of shark finning, which is the retention of any fins while discarding the carcass at sea. We will only purchase from vessel-owning companies that have a published policy prohibiting shark finning on board its vessels, and we will not purchase from any vessel that has been found to have finned for two (2) years following the date of the most recent finding.

Shark finning violates the FAO’s Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and its International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks, as well as the resolutions of a number of other international marine bodies, all of which call for minimizing waste and discards.In addition, this activity has contributed to major uncertainties about the amounts and species composition of sharks caught, and there is increasing concern that existing measures, including their enforcement, may not be adequately managing shark fisheries and protecting species of concern.
Shark-related conservation and management measures of the tuna regional fisheries management organizations (tRFMOs) restrict finning, regardless of fishing vessel gear type, through a proviso that the weight of fins landed cannot exceed 5% of the total shark catch on board.This can be problematic since the fin-to-carcass ratio can vary considerably depending on the species and on the different ways fins are cut (for some species/fisheries the ratio is closer to 2% or 3 %).In addition, storing and landing fins separately from carcasses leads to difficulties in enforcement and the accurate collection of catch data.

Dolphin-Safe Policy

South Seas Tuna Corporation Limited (SSTC) recognizes the need for a policy to end the practice of intentional encirclement of dolphins by purse-seine fishing fleets and to terminate the use of driftnets in fishing operations, as well as the need to eliminate injury, harassment and/or death of marine mammals, seabirds, sea turtles, and other non-target species, and to reduce catches of juvenile tunas, which may occur in tuna fishing operations.  SSTC also recognizes the need to reduce by-catch of seabirds and other non-target species during long-line fishing operations. 

This policy covers the entire company, as well as the parent company (if any) and all subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide. This shall be official SSTC policy:

  1. SSTC will not employ drift/gill nets of any size in its fishing operations, nor will it process, transship, carry, sell or store seafood products harvested in driftnets.
  2. SSTC will not intentionally deploy purse-seine nets on or to encircle marine mammals in its fishing operations in any area of the world’s oceans, nor will it process, transship, carry, store or sell tuna products or any other seafood products caught by intentional encirclement of marine mammals in purse seine nets in any of the world’s oceans.
  3. For all tuna harvested in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP),  SSTC will ensure that the following information and/or documentation is issued to Earth Island Institute’s International Monitoring Program (EII) by the harvesting vessel for each lot of tuna per each fishing trip:
    • a copy of a written request from the owner of the fishing vessel for a statement from the IATTC, as well as a statement from the government representative and owner of the fishing vessel, certifying that no Dolphin Mortality Limits (DML’s) were awarded to the vessel that year, OR if the vessel was awarded DML’s for that year, a statement from the IATTC certifying that the vessel did not use any of its DML’s during the entire fishing trip during which the tuna was harvested;
    • a written statement executed by both the captain and the owner of the fishing vessel guaranteeing that at no time during the fishing trip were dolphins chased, nor were any nets intentionally deployed on marine mammals, that no shark finning was conducted by any crew member on board the vessel at any time,  and that any sea turtles  accidentally caught were released alive and unharmed to the maximum extent feasible;
    • for purse seine vessels in the ETP, a certification or letter from a government official of the vessel’s flag of origin that the vessel was equipped with no more than two speed boats during the entire fishing trip;
    • a copy of the captain’s/technicians log book, detailing date, location and time of each net set, duration of each set, amount (approximate) of tuna landed per set, and type of set (brisas, FADS, “black spot”, school, etc.), and vessel  stowage plan, detailing amount of tuna placed into each well on board the fishing vessel;
    • a Tuna Tracking Form (TTF), completed by an IATTC observer  on board the vessel during the fishing trip, certifying that no dolphin mortality occurred during the fishing trip; and
    • a fisheries Certificate of Origin (CFO), completed and signed by a representative of the IATTC/CIAT or government official.
  4. SSTC will exclusively purchase and distribute tuna products only from a fishing company/packer/supplier that has a dolphin-safe corporate policy confirmed and approved by Earth Island Institute (EII).
  5. SSTC does not and will not own or operate any vessels that incorporate factory trawling, shrimp trawling, or other trawling operations that harm the ecological integrity of the oceans during fishing operations.  Nor will SSTC process, transship, carry, sell or store seafood products harvested by vessels that incorporate factory trawling, shrimp trawling, or other trawling operations that harm the ecological integrity of the oceans during fishing operations.
  6. SSTC will allow Earth Island Institute (EII) monitors on board all fishing and carrier vessels at any time to observe fishing operations, fish loading/unloading and/or transshipping, or to inspect log books, ship's manifests, mate's receipts, storage areas, interview observers and/or crew members, etc., as well as access to fishing and carrier vessel landing/transshipment sites (ports, harbors, etc.), cold storage facilities, transport vehicles (freezer trucks, etc.), canneries, retail outlets, and any other  locations and/or documentation deemed necessary by EII.
  7. SSTC will make a sincere effort to reduce by-catch in its fishing operations by utilizing methods recognized as conducive to by-catch reduction by the FFA, FAO, United Nations, Earth Island Institute and other scientific and environmental organizations. Such methods include the use of larger net mesh sizes, sonar ping devices on nets, release of non-target species while still alive, such as sea turtles, sharks, marine mammals, birds, etc., when possible, as well as other methods.
  8. In the case of long line vessels, SSTC will incorporate effective devices, such as lining pipes, bird bags or tori lines, to safely discourage sea birds from approaching baited hooks, thus working to reduce harm and/or mortality of sea birds, sea turtles, and other non-target species during fishing operations.
  9. To avoid causing injury to or death to marine mammals and other non target species, SSTC will require crews of the company's fishing and carrier vessels to never intentionally set nets on marine mammals and to exercise caution and implement appropriate measures in its fishing operations such as, but not limited to, deploying nets only after marine mammals have been safely driven away alive (without the use of explosives or gunshot) from the fishing area and/or carefully releasing marine mammals and sea turtles alive and not injured, when possible, which may wander into fishing nets.
  10. SSTC prohibits any persons, including captains and crew members, on board its fishing and/or carrier vessels from shooting, harpooning, stabbing, or in any way intentionally harming marine mammals, or from eating the meat of marine mammals or using their flesh or any other body parts as bait, or selling any part of marine mammals (teeth, blubber, meat, etc.).
  11. SSTC prohibits any persons on board its fishing and/or carrier vessels from participating in shark finning operations. Any sharks accidentally caught in nets will be released alive to the extent it is feasible without harm to or loss of human life.
  12. SSTC, its subsidiaries or affiliates worldwide do not participate in, or profit from, nor is the company connected to companies involved in, whaling operations, dolphin drive fisheries, live capture of marine mammals for zoo and aquarium trade, shark fin fisheries, nor the sale, import, export, brokerage of whale/dolphin meat, sea turtle meat/body parts, or shark fins, or the processing of marine mammal body parts, sea turtle body parts or shark fins.
  13. SSTC prohibits buying or selling any tuna that has been caught within nationally or internationally designated marine protected areas where fishing is prohibited, including the 40 nautical mile area of the Galapagos Marine Reserve commercial fishing prohibition zone (Ecuador), Isla del Coco National Park (Costa Rica), and any other similar protected areas.
  14. SSTC stipulates as a condition in all its contracts with fishing companies, packers, brokers, agents and importers that any tuna shipment found to be in violation of its and/or the EII dolphin-safe standards will be rejected with assessment of cost and damages against the fishing company/packer/broker/ agent/importer/supplier, and a repeat of such shipment will result in termination of business.
  15. SSTC will not purchase or process any tuna caught by vessels that are listed by international tuna commissions as IUU (Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated) vessels.  Earth Island Institute reserves the right to confirm the legal status of such vessels to ensure that any changes in vessel status are reflected in this policy.
  16. If the policy of SSTC in any way changes from the above listed commitments, EII shall be notified immediately via e-mail, to be followed up by written confirmation.