Tuna Improvement Profile

Nearly three-fourths of the world’s tuna production is certified, rated, or in a FIP. But more than half of that volume is red- or yellow-rated. Our improvement efforts prioritize tuna fisheries that are:

  • Red-rated by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program (see all tuna ratings here); or
  • Improving the sustainability of tuna captured for fresh and frozen sale

A baseline step businesses can take to accelerate progress in improving performance is to prioritize the purchase of certified or Best Choice tuna and encourage suppliers to pursue improvements. The collaboration is focused on improving the performance of tuna captured for fresh and frozen sale, by building on promising NGO and industry initiatives. To become involved, please consider:

  • Sustainable Fisheries Partnership’s Global Fresh and Frozen Tuna Supply Chain Roundtable brings more than 30 leading importers together to support FIPs addressing issues ranging from IUU fishing and management to bycatch and labor rights. Current recommended actions and SFP contacts are listed on the “Activity” tab of each SR’s page. If your company buys fresh or frozen tuna, producers in your supply chain may wish to consider joining.
  • Fair Trade USA works with small scale tuna fishermen and crew of medium sized vessels, tackling human rights and working conditions on vessels, as well as in processing. This empowerment and forming of stable and engaged fisher groups also enables discussions around resource management and data collection, both of which are essential for sustainable tuna fisheries management. If you are interested to learn more about how fisher empowerment can lead the way towards improved fisheries management, please contact Fair Trade USA.
  • Seafood Watch, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and Marine Stewardship Council engage in the NGO Tuna Forum, which brings together NGOs and other individuals and organizations that work comprehensively on global tuna sustainability issues on the following core focus areas:
    • RFMO Management & Advocacy
    • Market-based Mechanisms for Improving Sustainability
    • On the Water Research, Activities and Improvements

Marine Stewardship Council

As part of the MSC program, fisheries are required to make improvements to close out conditions, and continue to meet global best practice. Sourcing from these fisheries shows support for those improvements and encourages them to continue on in the MSC program. Businesses can search the MSC ‘Find a Supplier’ tool to locate companies that sell MSC certified tuna. 

Seafood Watch

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program ratings are based on specific location and production method information. For tuna, ratings are generally at the RFMO level rather than country level. For detailed information, visit the Seafood Watch recommendations on albacore tuna, skipjack tuna, and yellowfin tuna. You can also find recommendations on other tuna species, including Atlantic bluefin tuna, bigeye tuna, longtail tuna, Pacific bluefin tuna, and Southern bluefin tuna.

Sustainable Fisheries Partnership

SFP’s “T75” initiative is focused on ensuring that at least 75% of world production in key sectors is sustainable (i.e., certified by the MSC program, or green-listed in SFP’s Metrics tool) or making regular, verifiable improvements. For wild production:

  • Certified by one of the following programs: IFFO RS, ASMI RFM, Iceland Responsible Fisheries, Fair Trade USA
  • Or under full assessment in the MSC program
  • Or in a FIP that is making good progress  (i.e., a FIP with either with a progress rating of A, B, or C using SFP’s FIP evaluation tool, or formed in the past 12 months and not yet rated)

Albacore, bigeye tuna, skipjack tuna and yellowfin tuna fall within the Target 75 scope, namely in the Tuna sector. SFP has developed a visual display of T75 progress for each of the key seafood sectors, including tuna. Please check the latest estimates here.

To learn more about improvement opportunities, visit the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership’s T75 Fresh and Frozen Tuna Sector Report, its T75 Shelf-Stable Tuna Sector Report, and its Global Fresh and Frozen Tuna Supply Chain Roundtable. For detailed information, contact info@sustainablefish.org.


There are several active tuna FIPs worldwide that include albacore, and dozens that include skipjack or yellowfin, providing considerable opportunities to contribute to sustainability improvements. To learn more about specific FIPs, consult the FisheryProgress.org FIP directory or the Improvement Projects page of FishSource.