OPAGAC invests millions in tuna FIP, with MSC certification as goal
The Organization of Associated Producers of Large Freezer Tuna Freezers (OPAGAC) announced it will invest a further EUR 3 million (USD 2.4 million) in the fishery improvement project it helped found in 2016.
OPAGAC is an amalgamation of nine Spanish companies that own tuna seiners. It created the FIP, which covers skipjack, bigeye, and yellowfin tuna caught via purse seine in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans, in conjunction with WWF.
Thus far, the FIP “has exceeded all expectations during the first year of the action plan,” OPAGAC managing director Julio Morón told SeafoodSource in an email.
OPAGAC and its partners have already invested more than EUR 9 million (USD 7.3 million) in the FIP, according to Morón. The organization is aiming to achieve Marine Stewardship Council certification for the entire FIP by 2021.
In 2018, Morón said OPAGAC will make a renewed push to encourage the regional fisheries management organizations with oversight over the fisheries to adopt harvest control rules.
In addition, OPAGAC subsidize best fishing practices training for its crews, held in collaboration with the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation. Training sessions will take place in Spain’s Basque Country and in Galicia, Morón confirmed.
Last year, OPAGAC announced it is in the process of developing new environmental and social standards for the global tuna-fishing fleet.