The US canned tuna brand Bumble Bee has recently donated more than USD 900,000 in seafood products to the country’s largest hunger-relief organization, Feeding America. The items, which were given in support of Hunger Action Month in September, are to be distributed in the COVID-19 hardest hit areas across the country.
With these donations, Bumble Bee has contributed more than USD 2 million in products in the past 18 months alone. It has also supplied over 12 million meals through food banks and made financial donations to numerous local non-profit organizations. The brand is also launching “Sea Inspired,” a new internal program that looks to help employees find ways to volunteer, take care of the planet, and stay healthy.
Pacific scientists of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (WPRFMC) have strongly supported that Hawaiian pelagic longliners use tori lines for reducing seabird bycatch. A study was conducted from February to June 2021 about these “bird scaring” streamers. It comprised 87 sets deployed from three vessels during seven trips. Results showed that Laysan and black-footed albatross were 1.5 times less likely to attempt to attack, and there was a four times lower possibility of them contacting baited hooks when tori lines were set versus when fishermen used blue-dyed bait.
Currently, this US fishery uses blue-dyed bait as a mitigation measure against seabird interactions but it has been shown to become less effective over time. Tori lines were previously tested in the Hawaiian longline fishery in the late 1990s but early studies identified issues with practicality and crew safety resulting from the streamers' entanglement with gear. The use of such bird scaring lines is mandatory for tuna longliners in many countries including New Zealand which established the rule in 1993.
Ghana is looking to beef up its fisheries regulations and their enforcement given a possible EU red card hanging over its head. Hawa Koomson, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, in a press conference said that IUU fishing is one of the top priorities as the government is acquiring four patrol boats to be dispatched to four different coastal regions to prevent such illegal operations. They are also meant for a prompt response when infringements are detected at VMS centers. The country wants to reverse the trend of declining catches due to overfishing and overexploitation of marine resources.
She mentioned that five individuals have already been arrested for illegal fishing. Combating IUU practices is a must for Ghana if it wants to prevent the European bloc from assigning it a red card, which would stop tuna and other fish exports from the African nation to the EU. It received a yellowcard from the economic bloc in June.The country is also looking into a new National Fisheries Management Plan since the previous one expired in 2018. In addition, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy is also under review.