The Global Tuna Alliance, Friends of Ocean Action, and the World Economic Forum have introduced the 2025 Pledge towards Sustainable Tuna (25PST), a new global commitment supporting responsible global tuna fisheries management and harvesting.
The three organizations are inviting businesses throughout the tuna supply chain, governments, and civil society organizations committed to sustainable tuna to sign onto the pledge, which calls for signatories to commit to working towards a global tuna sector that meets the highest standards of environmental performance and social responsibility through demonstrable improvements in supply chain practices and fisheries management.
The 25PST replaces the Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration, a voluntary statement that emerged from a dialogue among governments, businesses, and civil society organizations convened by the World Economic Forum. Spurred by the UN Ocean Conference in 2017, the Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration was endorsed by 67 leaders of the world’s retailers, tuna processors, marketers, traders, and harvesters, with the support of 21 influential civil society organizations and six governments. The progress report published by the Global Tuna Alliance highlighted key achievements by the signatories on its completion, and 25PST will further build on this momentum, according to a Global Tuna Alliance press release.
“I strongly welcome the 2025 Pledge towards Sustainable Tuna and the clear commitment of leaders from a range of sectors to take better care of tuna fisheries globally. Improving fisheries management is a key focus of the Sustainable Development Goal for the ocean, SDG14, to conserve and sustainably use the ocean’s resources. We have to work together to ensure tuna fisheries are environmentally and socially responsible, from bait to plate, and I urge seafood businesses, governments and civil society organizations to join this important pledge,” said Ambassador Peter Thomson, the United Nations Secretary General’s special envoy for the ocean and co-chair of Friends of Ocean Action.
Tuna is a keystone species of the seafood industry – accounting for at least USD 42 billion (EUR 35.2 billion) of the USD 150 billion (EUR 125.6 billion) annual global seafood trade. Additionally, the tuna industry directly employs more than six million people, according to the Global Tuna Alliance. However, overfishing, weak management, and human rights, and labor concerns are threatening tuna stocks and creating risk and uncertainty for the industry and others reliant on tuna directly or indirectly for nutrition or their livelihoods.
Long and complex supply chains can make it difficult for product information to be recorded accurately and consistently and shared throughout each step in the chain, according to the Global Tuna Alliance. Commitment and collaboration across geographies and sectors are essential to improve the tuna supply chain, it said.
“Our shared vision of tuna meeting the highest standards of environmental performance and social responsibility will be boosted by the 2025 Pledge towards Sustainable Tuna and I strongly encourage other business, government and civil society leaders to sign up and join the movement towards much greater sustainability,” Global Tuna Alliance Executive Director Tom Pickerell said.
Photo courtesy of WWF