IN BRIEF

GDST And FishWise Collaborate To Enhance Seafood Traceability 12 June 2024

The Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST) have partnered with sustainable seafood consultancy FishWise to “promote the implementation of interoperable, digitized traceability systems and the adoption of the GDST standard across public and private sectors,” stated GDST. It could also empower regulators and governments to support more standardized, transparent, and responsible seafood supply chains, it added.

Sara Lewis, Director of Programs at FishWise, said that standardizing data formats in public and private sectors and making electronic information sharing more seamless between traceability systems is important. “This is required for not only meeting companies’ responsible seafood programs but also regulatory compliance and better governance,” she said.

120 Tons Of Expired Tuna Seized In Jordan 11 June 2024

Jordan’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently seized 120 tons of expired frozen tuna. The products were on their way to a factory for processing. The agency has begun procedures to destroy the cargo and is taking legal action against the responsible company. The expired tuna was identified during the FDA’s routine inspection to monitor and track all the food products that enter the country, reported Jordanian news sites.

The name of the supplier, the tuna species, or the cannery it was headed to were not revealed. A top executive from the FDA explained that the agency’s inspection efforts ensured the expired tuna was intercepted before its canning and distribution thus safeguarding Jordan’s food security.

Taiwan Bans Bluefin Fishing Starting June 12 10 June 2024

Taiwan’s Ministry of Agriculture announced on June 9 that all Taiwanese fleets must stop catching bluefin at midnight on June 12 as the cumulative total catch has reached 90 percent of the national quota. The nation’s bluefin quota for 2024 is set at 1,965 tons.The Fisheries Department has issued strict orders to the fishers to cooperate and leave the fishing grounds by the set date.

If a bluefin is accidentally caught after the specified date, it must be immediately discarded back to the water and this must be reported to the Department. The record must include the number of fish caught and discarded and their position. If a vessel violates the regulations, it will be penalized and its bluefin catch for the next season will be seriously considered. The government pointed out that if there is a surplus in this year’s bluefin quota after the fishing is stopped and statistics are collected, it will be retained next year. Whereas, if the bluefin is overfished, the quota will be reduced next year.

Men Face Prison In Spain For Trafficking Drugs Via Canned Tuna 7 June 2024

Three men who have been accused of trafficking 142 kg of cocaine through the Port of Valencia in January are facing up to seven years in prison if convicted. The men tried to take drugs from a container holding legal cargo of canned tuna and canned ventresca. Last Thursday, the Public Prosecutor’s Office asked the Provincial Court for this heavy sentence under the crime against public health law.

The prosecutor accused the defendants of going to the port area on January 3 to search for the location of a container with tuna products and extricate part of the drugs. They left some of the narcotics behind and were about to leave in a truck when the men were intercepted and arrested by the Spanish Civil Guard, reported ABC news.

Spain Alert Over Glass Fragments In Carrefour’s Albacore Jars 6 June 2024

The Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (Asean) warned consumers of glass fragments in Bonito del Norte in olive oil 280 g jars from retailer Carrefour. The items are part of the supermarket’s own brand, Extra. The agency recommended that those who bought the products, which belong to lot number L-1827, barcode 3560071085858, must refrain from consuming them. The company noticed glass shards during a check and informed concerned authorities. The Community of Madrid, where the tuna was distributed, also notified Asean.

Carrefour said that those who have these jars in their homes “can go to the nearest store for returns and payments.” This notice refers exclusively to the batch and reference indicated. The retailer apologised to consumers for the inconvenience and provided a customer care number to which they can call for grievances, reported Spanish news sites.

IUU Fishing Day: Illicit Fishing A Threat To Sustainable Tuna Fisheries 5 June 2024

The UN General Assembly declared June 5 as the International Day for the Fight Against Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. This illicit practice has been harming not only tuna stocks in different oceans but also people who depend on healthy fisheries for their food and livelihoods. Several tuna vessels, especially Asian longliners, have been accused of IUU fishing in recent years, which also includes onboard human rights abuse and rampant bycatch. International NGOs have been calling for strict monitoring and tighter regulations to cut this down. Today, Greenpeace International posted on its X (formerly Twitter) urging its followers to read the ‘Fake my Catch’ report, published in 2022, describing the deplorable conditions of migrant workers on tuna longliners. Reports have also been coming in of IUU bluefin entering Italy. One such incident was reported yesterday which affected the health of 14 people.

Initiatives like the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), which entered into force in 2016, ensure a minimum set of standard measures for states to apply when foreign vessels seek entry into their ports to cut down IUU fish from entering markets. The FAO has listed some solutions to combat illegal fishing problems including catch documentation schemes, enhanced surveillance systems, and mandatory fisheries observers on all vessels.

Costa Rica Rescues Crew And Arrests Man For Human Trafficking 3 June 2024

A Costa Rican government agency that fights against human trafficking rescued 13 crew members from deplorable conditions aboard a tuna boat that was anchored in the port town of Puntarenas. A Portuguese national, who is suspected of carrying out human rights abuse onboard, was arrested. The authorities did not reveal the name and other details of the tuna boat or the designation of the accused.

The agency Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ), which works on gender violence, human trafficking, and illicit migrant smuggling, received information a week ago that the ship was anchored with the crew members still on board. They were not paid and were provided with expired food. The authorities conducted the raid on Sunday and rescued the workers who were from Mexico, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Portugal, and Venezuela. Authorities seized mobile phones and expired food from the vessel, reported Costa Rican news agencies.

EPO Purse Seine Fishery Gets MSC Certification For Skipjack And Yellowfin 31 May 2024

Panamanian organization Atun Sostenible Ltd. S.A. recently received the MSC certification for its purse seine fishery’s skipjack and yellowfin catches in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The assessment had four Units of Assessment (UoA) — two for skipjack and two for yellowfin. Atun Sostenible’s vessels – flagged to Panama – catch skipjack, yellowfin, and bigeye. All tuna is landed in the Manta port.

The Announcement Comment Draft Report (ACDR) was published by the CAB, Control Union UK, in March last year. The boats are owned by three different companies: Ingopesca Panama S.A(‘Upar’), Augusta Fishery Corporation Ltd. (‘Lautaro’), and Capital Property International Incorporated (‘Diva Maria’). They catch the tuna on FADs sets and free school.

TUNACONS Launches Initiative To Fight Plastic Pollution 30 May 2024

The Eastern Pacific Ocean Tropical tuna (TUNACONS) purse seine fishery recently launched the ‘MaresLimpios.EC Platform’ to fight plastic pollution in the Gulf of Guayaquil and nearby environmentally relevant areas. It was announced in an event held earlier this week. The initiative is part of the ‘UN Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water (SDG14)’. TUNACONS stated: “This digital portal will facilitate informed decision-making and promote practical conservation, sustainable use, and environmental education for citizens living in these areas.”

There are already several initiatives in the‘MaresLimpios.EC Platform’ which is expected to be adopted by local authorities. The platform seeks to connect various stakeholders in Ecuador such as private companies, donors, and volunteers to reap the maximum benefit to combat plastic pollution. Computer engineering students at the Universidad de Especialidades Espíritu Santo (UEES) collaborated with the tuna group to design the platform. TUNACONS founding members are Eurofish, NIRSA, Servigrup, Tri Marine, and Pesquera Jadran.

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