Highlights from the World Tuna Conference, VigoSeptember 17th, 2015
Last week, I had the opportunity – along with one of the members of the Alliance – to attend the VII World Conference of Tuna, “Vigo 2015”, held on September 7-8th in Vigo, Spain. Over 300 business leaders from the tuna industry worldwide attended – representing over 30 countries to discuss topics varying in nature from FAO’s perspective on tuna as a global food source, to corporate social responsibility in the tuna industry, to which mechanisms can ensure sustainable management of tropical tuna and of the tuna industry overall. The importance of these types of discussions is clear – to protect the oceans that are increasingly threatened.
One of the topics of great interest to me was the announcement of a new group, the “Observatory of Tuna Traceability”, formed by the nonprofit foundation Clúster de Conservación de Productos del Mar (a group born out of the canning industry which works to promote positive social outcomes with the canning industry). The Observatory’s mission will be to promote sustainability through regulatory compliance, respect for human and labor rights, and food safety and quality for tuna – ultimately incenting responsible fishing and trade and ensuring quality products for the European market.
This organization, which will be based in Vigo has a steering committee composed of various business organizations from the sector and with support from the government. In addition to the steering committee, this body will be supported by a technical committee in charge of international affairs, databases, risk analysis, press office and relations.
As a group comprised of fishers, we know that international cooperation is essential if we are to manage migratory species sustainably – and ensure not only healthy fish stocks, but healthy oceans overall. We believe that it’s part of our job to support those international efforts.
We applaud all measures to improve sustainability in the industry – and look forward to seeing the work of the “Observatory” progress. As we learn more about the Observatory, we’ll keep you updated.
Mariana Ramos, Executive Director
Pacific Alliance for Sustainable Tuna