Responsible tuna fishing as a guarantee of sustainable future

The spanish tuna fleet endorses the World Economic Forum’s Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration

The spanish tuna fleet endorses the World Economic Forum’s Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration

Through the Organisation of Associated Producers of Large Tuna Freezers (OPAGAC), the Spanish tuna fleet has endorsed the World Economic Forum’s Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration, an initiative that governments, companies and many different civil society organisations have joined to create a system of full traceability in tuna fishing, foster sustainable stock management strategies and uphold the minimum social and labour standards envisioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in tuna-fishing fleets.

Joining the Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration is a move in line with the fleet’s commitment to sustainable, responsible fishing, as certified under AENOR’s APR Responsible Tuna Fishing standard (which the fleet fostered) and the Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) the fleet is working on in partnership with the WWF.

With these initiatives, the Spanish tuna fleet is not only obligated to report its catches; it is also voluntarily taking observers on board its ships, and it is defending these measures to the regional fisheries management organisations responsible for tunid management in the three oceans the Spanish fleet sails, the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean.

According to OPAGAC General Manager Julio Morón, “The Spanish tuna fleet guarantees the traceability of all its tropical tuna catches. We believe transparency like this is vital, in everybody involved in the tuna trade, to ensure that not only fishing but also trade and consumption are legal, sustainable and responsible”.

Traceability of the chain, guarantee of sustainability
By signing onto the Declaration, OPAGAC is showing that it supports committing to this initiative, which calls for full traceability in tuna fishing and the availability of traceability information at points of sale or via an online system by the year 2020.

The declaration also includes the commitment to forge a socially responsible chain of tuna supply. That means eliminating all forms of slavery and adhering to the minimum social and labour standards espoused in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the conventions and recommendations of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). In fact, the APR standard guarantees compliance with ILO Convention 188.

The initiative also looks to foster management strategies that guarantee good stock maintenance or at least restoration of stocks to levels that allow fishing for maximum sustainable yield.

OPAGAC’s initiatives in favour of sustainability, responsibility and transparency in tropical tuna seine fishing are in line with other actions already under way that also agree with the principles of the Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration. Such actions are being run by organisations such as the Common Oceans ABJN (Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction) Programme, the Safe Ocean Network, the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) and the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability platform.

The Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration has the support of the world’s leading distributors, tuna processors, marketers and producers, and it will be backed by the president of the UN General Assembly, Peter Thomson, at the United Nations Ocean Conference scheduled for 5 to 9 June in New York.


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