Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions studies Atún de Pesca Responsible certification

Published on
February 3, 2020

The Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions is studying the Atún de Pesca Responsible (APR) certification’s approach to social issues, as it seeks to improve the labor practices of the companies from which its members’ partners source their seafood.

The alliance is a consortium of 42 conservation groups working with businesses that represent more than 80 percent of the North American grocery and institutional foodservice markets. It is currently seeking to develop labor standards for the commercial fishing industry, under the leadership of the Arlington, Virginia, U.S.A.-based environmental nonprofit Conservation International.

The APR certification, founded in 2016, establishes requirements on social conditions, maritime safety, fisheries control, good fishing practices, and sanitary conditions to be met by freezer tuna seiners, both Spanish and foreign, in the responsible fishing of tunas of skipjack, yellowfin, and bigeye tuna. The standard, created in large part through the efforts of the Spanish tuna consortium OPAGAC, was created to implement best practices in the purse-seine tuna fleet and to differentiate certificate-holders within the sector.

OPAGAC Managing Director gave an overview of APR’s social standards, which include all provisions from the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Work in Fishing Convention 188, at a meeting of the Seafood Ethics Common Language Group organized by British seafood authority Seafish.

“In the world fishing environment, our fleet has been the first to champion the social side of sustainability, the side that affects people, along with the environmental side. This dual approach is spreading quite quickly all over the world as the formula for dealing with problems like modern slavery in fishing and poor working conditions in many fleets,” Morón said. “For that reason, as we’ve been applying the AENOR-approved APR for two years now, we’re setting a solid example for all those fisheries that decide to commit to a decent working model in extractive fishing.”

OPAGAC said in a press release that representatives of Conservation International had been on board the Ecuador-based OPAGAC ship El Charo to evaluate how the Spanish standard is applied in the field.

“Thus, they got a real-world contrast between the Spanish model and the American outline known as the Monterey Framework,” Morón said.

The Monterey Framework calls for protecting the human rights, dignity, access to resources, equitable opportunities, and livelihood security for workers in the seafood industry. It was created by the Certification and Ratings Collaboration, an effort by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, Fair Trade USA, Marine Stewardship Council, Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership to push fisheries and fish farms to achieve greater environmental sustainability and social responsibility.

Photo courtesy of OPAGAC

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