World Tuna Day in Solomon Islands and Guidelines for Healthier Oceans
Commemoration of tuna’s cultural and economic importance provides opportunity for consumers to learn how to make more sustainable choices
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BELLEVUE, Wash (May 2, 2015) – The tuna town of Noro in Western Province, Solomon Islands is celebrating World Tuna Day. Noro is home to SolTuna and National Fisheries Developments (NFD) which together form one of the most integrated tuna fishing and processing operations in the South Pacific. NFD’s locally managed Solomon Islands flag purse seiners and pole and line boats catch the tuna for processing and canning by SolTuna. Together, these companies have over 2,000 employees. SolTuna produces the famous canned tuna brands Solomon Blue and Chili Tuna for the Solomon Islands and regional markets.
To honor the importance of tuna resources to the region, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) declared May 2nd as World Tuna Day in 2011. Since then, this day has become recognized globally as a time to celebrate these incredible fish. World Tuna Day is a major holiday in Noro. It is a time to acknowledge the cultural significance of tuna for Solomon Islanders, as well as for the people of other Pacific island countries who depend so much on tuna for their livelihoods, not to mention its importance to the industry that helps bring it to family tables all around the world.
On World Tuna Day, it’s important for all of us to recognize that while tuna is generally a great food choice, there are ways that educated tuna consumers can help sustain marine ecology with their buying decisions. Indeed, tuna is one of the world’s most versatile and popular seafoods, and a healthy source of protein and essential nutrients. It is generally fast-growing and reproduces in great numbers, making most tuna resilient to commercial fishing pressure if managed effectively.
Tri Marine, as a tuna industry leader in sustainability initiatives, recommends the following simple guidelines to consumers who want to support healthy oceans.
1. Know WHAT tuna species you are buying. What type of tuna is actually in the can or at the seafood counter? Some tuna species are abundant, while others may be overfished in certain areas. For example, canned tuna labeled as skipjack is abundant globally.
2. Know WHERE your tuna was caught. Abundance of tuna stocks, and how well they are managed, vary by geographic origin. For example, albacore caught along the West Coast of the United States is abundant and well-managed, while albacore sourced from the South Atlantic is unsustainably overfished. Similarly, bigeye tuna stocks in the Eastern Pacific have recovered from overfishing with fishery closures and capacity controls, while it continues to be overfished in the Western and Central Pacific. Products that provide traceability information about the source of the tuna help consumers navigate these issues and make more sustainable choices.
3. Know HOW your tuna is caught and processed. Some fishing methods can be indiscriminate in the species they catch while other methods are more targeted. Tuna caught by “pole and troll,” “pole and line” or “handline” are more selective with less bycatch, or catch of non-target species. Fishing on naturally occurring schools of fish rather than fishing that utilizes fish aggregating devices (FADs) can also reduce bycatch.
4. Know WHO caught and processed your tuna. President Obama recently announced plans to restrict illegal, unregulated or unreported (IUU) fish from the U.S. market. You need to know who caught your fish so you can make sure that it was legally caught and in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations. IUU compliance also applies to the processing of tuna. IUU tuna may be processed by companies responsible for human rights abuses in their labor practices.
World Tuna Day is a great opportunity to learn about these straightforward steps that can make a big difference in supporting sustainable, legal fishing industry practices. By looking for specific information about the tuna you buy, consumers can make purchasing decisions that protect ocean ecology. In many countries, consumers can use smart phones to check Seafood Watch, a tool from Monterey Bay Aquarium that consolidates the latest research to help consumers make smart choices. In addition, consumers can look for tuna from companies that provide traceability information about the source of the tuna. Tri Marine’s Ocean Naturals brand tuna provides a code on each can that when keyed into the company website provides information on the tuna’s species, origin and catch method.For more information about sustainable tuna and other important investments in responsible fishing practices, visit Tri Marine’s sustainability web page.
ABOUT Tri Marine
Tri Marine is a recognized leader in fishing, processing and distributing high-quality tuna products to the world’s markets. The company focuses on quality, sustainability, innovation and customer satisfaction. As a socially responsible operator, Tri Marine has chosen to invest in the communities closest to fishery resources. Together with its workforce of over 5,000 employees, Tri Marine is committed to all of its customers, suppliers and stakeholders for the long term. National Fisheries Developments and SolTuna are part of the Tri Marine Global Group of Companies. For more information, visit www.trimarinegroup.com.