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Spanish tuna fleet presents responsible fishing certificate in London Tuna purse seiner. (Photo: Stock File)

Spanish tuna fleet presents responsible fishing certificate in London

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Friday, 23 March 2018 11:22
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SPAIN : The Organization of Associated Producers of Large Tuna Freeze Vessels (OPAGAC) presented in London information on the operation and accumulated experience with its Tuna Fishing Responsible Certificate (APR).
According to the organization that represents the Spanish tuna fleet, since its launch a year and a half ago, this certificate is gaining ground as a world benchmark of good fishing practices, largely because it is the only one that considers the social and labour conditions on board .
The meeting to which OPAGAC has been invited is organized by the Seafood Alliance for Legality and Traceability (SALT), and includes the main international foundations focusing on the fight against illegal fishing.
OPAGA managing director Julio Morón explained in the meeting the improvements achieved by the fleet according to this certificate that is consistent with SALT's objectives of guaranteeing food security, labour rights and the conservation of marine biodiversity.
The APR standard, the only one of its kind in the world fishing sector, distinguishes those ships, both Spanish and foreign ones carrying out their activities while minimizing the environmental impact, complying with the different international control regulations and guaranteeing social and working conditions on board in ILO Convention 188. The latter is fundamental, in the opinion of the Spanish tuna fleet, to avoid the violation of human rights or practices such as slavery, human trafficking or child labour exploitation, which sometimes occur in ships from third countries.
"Our APR standard has aroused enormous global interest and can become the basis of a future standard of the European Committee for Standardization, which we hope will be a benchmark for the continental market to demand these standards for tuna imports," said Morón.
In the SALT event, the leader shared these details with international representatives of the fishing industry, governments and NGOs, with the aim of accelerating the development of innovative projects and solutions for the improvement of traceability.
OPAGAC currently represents nearly fifty purse-seine vessels operating in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans and captures 400,000 tonnes per year of tropical tuna, equivalent to 8 per cent of world production.

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