Washington, DC — The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and more than 50 retailers, brands and seafood companies*, including Walmart, Publix, Nestle, Carrefour and Tesco, today called on the United States, European Union and approximately 45 governments to implement electronic monitoring in tuna fisheries to protect workers and ensure fishing continues to be sustainable.
“We are key stakeholders in these fisheries and strongly wish to see the environmental impact of these fisheries managed in a manner consistent with our procurement specifications for sustainable sourcing,” wrote the companies.
In a letter issued today, the companies urged the governments to move rapidly and urgently through the Regional Fishery Management Organizations (RFMOs) to make electronic monitoring an accepted alternative to human observer coverage in tuna fisheries. This technology already exists, but the governments and RFMOs have been slow to adopt its use.
In April, at-sea observer programs in tuna fisheries were suspended by the RFMOs, the international governmental bodies responsible for their management, due to COVID-19. Observers document activities and collect data essential to conservation.
The companies also called for greater transparency to advance the fully effective implementation of electronic monitoring on all fleets and regular review of the COVID-19 situation and risks towards restoring human at-sea observers at the earliest safe and practical date.
*Afritex Ventures Limited, Aldi North, Aldi South, Asda, Beaver Street Fisheries, BirdLife International, Carrefour France. Congalsa, Culinary Collaborations LLC, D&E Import LLC, Direct Ocean, Earthworm, Euclid Fish Company, Fish Is Life, Fishwise, Fortune Fish Co., Frinsa, Giant Eagle, IncredibleFish, Inland Seafoods, Ipswich Shellfish Group, Jealsa/We Sea, Maguro Foods, Mercadona, Metro France, Morrisons, Nestle, New England Seafood International, North Atlantic Inc., Profand, Publix, Rema Foods/Food Import Group, Sainsburys, Santa Monica Seafood, Sea Delight, Seacore Seafood Inc., Seafood Imports, Seapact, Seattle Fish Co., Stavis Seafoods, Sysco France, Tesco, The Fishin Co., True Worlds Food, True Worlds Group, TUPA, Walmart
Founded in 2006, the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to rebuilding depleted fish stocks and reducing the environmental and social impacts of fishing and fish farming by engaging fishery stakeholders and seafood businesses in every part of the supply chain. The organization works to improve fisheries through fishery improvement projects (FIPs) and aquaculture improvement projects (AIPs), which are multi-stakeholder bodies that seek to advance the sustainability of fishing and fish-farming operations. SFP also supports Supply Chain Roundtables (SRs) that allow seafood suppliers to work in a pre-competitive environment to promote improvement throughout the supply chain. Visit us at www.sustainablefish.org.