In 2018, when FIA PNG launched officially the Responsible Sourcing Policy RSP and its strategic plan, it set up a capability-building program among our fishing company members, but also to increase the qualifications of our FIA PNG office staff as auditors.
Enhancing qualification, and knowledge to execute and audit on an annual basis our fishing vessel’s members is a key focus of training conducted by our partner Seafoodmatter consultancy.
Seafoodmatter labor onboard tool and methodology enhances efforts to detect and deter Illegal, Unregulated, Unreported (IUU) fishing, at the same time monitoring our tuna fleet compliance with human rights, crew decent working and living conditions onboard providing training and guidance for our staff of auditors.
We have 55 tuna purse seiners that belong to seven (7) fishing companies, having onboard more than 1600 Crew to operate in the fishing ground of the PNA waters.
FIA PNG office’s responsibility is to ensure these Crew members receive decent work and living conditions as per ILOC 188 for maritime convention requests but also is aligned with more than 40 private good practices, regulations, and standards that the Seafoodmatter methodology assessed it.
FIA PNG chairman and president states:
“The training is a capability development response to FIA PNG private sector needs for our officials involved in at-sea vessel inspections and audits”.
This training program is an important step towards awareness and preparation of FIA PNG social accountability officers and auditors in accordance with the WCPFC Conservation Management Measures (CMM), ILOC 188, and Seafoodmatter labor methodology. Knowledge of international legal instruments and regional MCS tools for intelligence analysis and risk assessments are essential learning to support surveillance planning and boarding inspections and audits in our PNG Ports.
Key items covered in the training included; the difference between inspection and auditing which is the basis for assessing a management system on board tuna purse seiner, fishing vessel inspection requirements, boarding procedures, ILOC188 articles, fishing legal documentation, communication; Interviews techniques, health and safety, worker voice, and IUU risks with a focus on catch reporting verification and traceability. Our officers and auditors are also engaged in practical planning, communication, and execution of boarding audit exercises on fishing vessels in the Ports of Rabaul and Lae City to demonstrate effective planning and safe execution of quality boarding operations.
The capability building program is funded by the FIA PNG members which invest in our due diligence process. Our FIA PNG team lead and trained by our Sustainability & CSR Director (Seafoodmatter Director) who also is a Senior qualified auditor ensures that our team will comply with the requirements that a competent auditor needs to carry out a competent and professional audit. Also, our team has attended the following trainings:
- ISO19011:2018 auditor skill tailored for fisheries and fishing operation auditors (48 hours onsite, in person) – October 2022
- SA8000 Social Auditor Basic course (5 days onsite, in person) – April 2023
- Fairness, Integrity, Health, and Safety FISH standard for Crew (2 days online) – June 2023
- ILO Training of Inspectors of Labour Conditions on board fishing vessel. (online), 19 June to 7 July 2023
The training provides different perspectives, from the private sector point of view (FISH and SA8000), including setting a management system to support audits (SA8000) and also the government compliance level for inspection (ILO training). This gives a team a unique perspective to digest, assess and take decisions about non-conformances and non-compliance.
Of course, a diploma or research paper does not authorize anyone to carry out an audit, that is why FIA PNG auditors care undergo an auditor development program where they can apply qualifications and experience; where a Senior auditor assesses how the FIA PNG auditors implement the skills gained in the training process. It is about being observed by a Senior auditor and polishing skills in the application of the experience in fisheries and auditing qualifications that they have it. After completing the minimum quantity of audits as a trainee, as a witness, and as a co-auditor, the first three (3) competent female auditors would expect to fully be ready and sign off by the fourth quarter of 2023.
Who is our team – First three women qualified as Social Auditors in the Pacific:
Clare Tutuana Social Responsibility and CSR officer: She holds a Diploma in Business management. With more than 15 years of experience working in the fishery sector and Investment sector in organizations like the National Fisheries Authority of PNG, and the Investment Promotion Authority of PNG, Clare brings know-how in fisheries legislation, compliance, and PNG regulations. She joined the FIA PNG office in May 2020.
Nialangis Posanau Sustainability and MSC officer: She holds a degree in Science with a major in Marine Biology and a minor in Environmental Science from the University of Papua New Guinea. With more than 15 years of experience working in different organizations like the Conservation Environment Protection Authority, The National Fisheries Authority, the Division of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Manus Provincial Administration, and The Nature Conservancy. Alice brings expertise in Conservation, fishery management, and Research. She joined the FIA PNG office in August 2023.
Stephanie Pokajam Traceability and VMS officer: She graduated at the Port Moresby Technical College with a certificate in Graphic Arts & Printing. She has been working in strategic marketing and communication. Since 2021 she has been heavily working in the fisheries sector mainly in traceability and vessel tracking by satellite. Currently, she is responsible for controlling our fleet fishing in the PNG Economic Exclusive Zone, Archipelagic Waters, and Western and Central Pacific Fishery Ocean
Our unique model – RSP
Our competent auditor team will be part of the annual monitoring of our assurance model for each RSP pillar. Our Social Responsibility and Crew Welfare include:
- Internal audits are carried out by FIA PNG fishing company members.
- Second-party audits carried out by FIA PNG’s competent auditor’s team
- Third-party audits carried out by an independent certification body auditor’s team
- Global Fishing Watch – monitoring our fishing operations publicly.
- Integrated Fisheries Information management system iFIMS platform monitoring our fishing vessel movement in almost real-time.
Our aim is to act and go beyond commitments, from 2020 we share on an annual basis our outcomes and progress and we invite the global tuna industry to implement an assurance model as FIA PNG is doing it.
Top image caption: Auditors assessment Marine litter and Fishing gear onboard a Tuna purse seiner in Rabaul, PNG