At Albacora, our commitment to sustainability and compliance is at the core of our employees’ daily work. An interdepartmental team ensures we have the tools we need in place to meet our sustainability and compliance commitments. Our Ocean Coordinators play a pivotal role within this team. They adapt our global tools to meet the regulatory and environmental demands of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans.
As such our integrated fisheries management consists of six core building blocks:
1. Continuous training
Before each trip, each crew member attends an in-house training session. This provides valuable updates on regulatory requirements at EU, RFMO and global levels and on the latest developments in fishing techniques. There is further training following relevant RFMO meetings, to communicate the latest decisions to our crew members. When not at sea, our crews also regularly attend training organised by the Spanish Oceanic Institute and the ISSF.
2. Regulatory updates rapidly implemented
We provide all our crews with a condensed, accessible guide to all the regulations relevant to their trip, covering both the waters in which they will sail and fish. This also explains the fishing contracts in place for the countries where they will operate. Our interdepartmental team updates the compendium after each trip, and prepares an easily accessible checklist for all crew members detailing the key regulatory requirements. We also equip our crews with the tools to identify exact maritime boundaries in the regions where they sail. This is vitally important, as it can be difficult to recognise the boundaries between international waters and countries’ exclusive economic zones.
3. Standing orders and responsible management
Albacora issues standing orders to its crews that must be strictly observed. These cover the essential aspects of our crew’s rights and responsibility whilst on board. They cover specific rules applicable to each ocean our ships sail in; safety precautions related to the features of each boat; and rules that apply when crossing zones between fishing grounds to the other (so called transit zones).
In addition, they cover the overarching professional values that define Albacora. As the individuals who ensure that we deliver on our commitment to sustainable fishing, Albacora officers hold a particular responsibility. Captains are also required to sign a consent form when assuming a vessel from their colleague at the end of a fishing trip. In signing this, they acknowledge that the vessel is fully compliant with all company and regulatory requirements. Crew members also sign a Conformity Form following their training but before embarking on a trip, confirming that they have undergone the requisite training and are fully aware of the latest regulatory and compliance rules.
Discover our strict sustainable fishing rules with our fleet manager Imanol Loinaz.
Hear how these rules are implemented in practice with our skipper Josu Bilbao.
4. Continuous surveillance
In addition to onboard observers, all our vessels have three independent electronic monitoring systems, known as Vessels Management Monitoring (VMS) systems operating whilst at sea. The first is the EU VMS, which allows Spanish authorities to monitor our vessels’ activities at all times. The second belongs to the RFMO in charge of the management of the waters where the vessel is operating. In addition, Albacora has its own private VMS allowing us to monitor activities at all time via a camera on the fishing deck.
If you want to know more about our regulatory framework, please click here.
5. Proactive incident management
Whenever an incident is reported, an internal multidisciplinary team reviews what happened and honestly assesses the measures taken. Consistent with Albacora values, the review process is wholly transparent.
6. External marine resources management audits
We conduct internal audits four times a year and voluntarily undergo regular external audits performed by the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) and MRAG, the independent audit company specialised in marine resources management. The audit process is part of our commitment as a company registered under the ISSF Proactive Vessel Register (PVR).