Sustainable Marine Commodities


The National Platform for Sustainable Large Pelagics Fisheries is a forum for assertive dialogue and convergence among public institutions with authority over ocean-based activities and the different sectors involved in catching, processing and marketing large pelagic fish species from the Costa Rican Pacific.
Its goal is to institutionalize long-term sustainable fishing of pelagic species by creating multisectoral commitments, formulating and monitoring actions that address the root causes of the problems that restrict sustainable fishing, building partnerships and pooling funds to coordinate and implement improvement measures, and informing the national and international public of progress made during their implementation.

With this platform, in three years Costa Rica will have an action plan to meet global and domestic market requirements for responsible marine fishery products, providing a unified country response and unquestionably benefitting domestic fishers and the country as a whole. Formulated based on platform-facilitated dialogue, the Action Plan will guide public and private sectors and buyers in their efforts to improve the social and environmental performance of the national large pelagics value chain for the next five years. A key feature of this process is to integrate as many visions and contributions as possible.

The platform is part of the Global Sustainable Supply Chains for Marine Commodities initiative, which focuses on four countries, two in Asia (Vietnam and the Philippines) and two in Latin America (Ecuador and Costa Rica).  See page on global context.

The platform is led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Oceans, and National Fishing and Aquaculture Institute, facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme and managed by platform participants. The national longline fishing sector and National Chamber of Fish Product Exporters are key partners and committed to the initiative.




Global overfishing is caused by excessive pressure on fish populations, destructive practices, illegal fishing and weak surveillance and control over fishing, open access and increased demand for fishery products, among other factors. In Costa Rica, the domestic longline fishery and product commercialization processes confront a series of debilities and conflictive situations, as well as weak institutionality and insufficient mechanisms for ensuring traceability and transparency along the value chain. This greatly restricts access to more developed international markets and puts Costa Rica at a disadvantage relative to other countries.

Most of the country’s Pacific catch of large pelagics is destined for export. For example, 95% of mahi mahi exports are to the U.S., also the main destination for tuna. This shows why strategies must be implemented to bring responsible fishing products to these highly demanding markets.


 Project scope

The objective is to expand synergies and the participation of domestic and international stakeholders in product value chains. The project will thus focus on establishing conditions for improving supply of sustainable fishery products from Costa Rica, through the development of a sustainable marine product platform comprised primarily of public and private stakeholders in the value chain, as well as other interested parties. The goal is to put conditions in place for providing sustainable fishery products.

The platform project seeks to develop precision fisheries by improving the government’s fishery statistics and information systems, and by strengthening fishing management, quality, harmlessness, traceability, transparency and intermediation.

Unquestionably, it will be necessary to promote better interinstitutional linkage and public-private intersectoral coordination for execution and public monitoring of progress, along with mobilizing resources for the action plan’s institutionalization. 

The expectation is that demand for sustainable marine products in and outside Costa Rica will increase, resulting in Costa Rica’s global positioning as country committed to sustainable use of marine resources.

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