Taiwan Tuna Association calls for better governance to reverse declining stocks

Published on
September 14, 2022
Taiwan Tuna Assocation Manager Tony Lin.

Climate change is reducing fishery stocks internationally, but the situation is reversible with better governance, according to a spokesman for the Taiwanese tuna-fishing industry.

“The catch is decreasing [globally], a phenomenon that can be seen continuously in recent years, including Taiwan. There are many reasons, but I think the climate change factor is starting to become apparent.” Taiwan Tuna Association Manager Tony Lin told SeafoodSource. “However, in some areas, due to the impact of COVID-19, the number of operating vessels has decreased, and the catch has shown an increasing trend, so I think that as long as the fish stocks have time to rest, the resources will recover.”

Lin’s comments came as a member of the Taiwan Tuna Association faced renewed scrutiny from Greenpeace over its controls against handling tuna tainted by illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and forced labor. Bumble Bee Seafood and its Taiwanese parent company, Fong Chun Formosa Fishery (FCF) Company, were cited in a new Greenpeace report, which accused FCF of sourcing from vessels that engaged in or were suspected of IUU fishing, forced labor, and human rights abuses.

The report, “Fake my Catch: The Unreliable Traceability in our Tuna Cans,” published 1 September, also accuses Bumble Bee’s “Trace my Catch” feature on its website, launched to improve traceability, of displaying incomplete and inaccurate information. Greenpeace said its analysis of data on Bumble Bee cans showed that some vessels listed on the “Trace my Catch” site had earlier been flagged by the Taiwan Fisheries Agency for IUU fishing.

Lin previously criticized the decision by Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF) to initiate a lawsuit against FCF and Bumble Bee claiming they made “false and deceptive” marketing claims about sourcing tuna through a “fair and safe supply chain.” Lin said the group would get better results by collaborating with Taiwan’s government and tuna industry on solutions.

Photo courtesy of Tony Lin/LinkedIn

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