The situation at the StarKist plant in American Samoa does not seem to be getting better. The cannery has been suffering from a labor shortage for the past months to the point that officials are collaborating with the processing facility to attract foreign employees.
To make matters worse, now a fish shortage has forced the plant to close for a whole week - from May 10 to 17. “The fish shortage is related to low headcount issues that have created a ripple effect within the StarKist Samoa operation,” said the company in a statement, as reported by Samoa Observer. Employees who have been working 12-hour shifts due to the lack of labor are going unpaid during this closure.
Environmental non-profit WWF has urged contracting parties of tuna RFMOs to take urgent action to prevent further depletion of endangered shark and ray stocks. Andy Cornish, Head of the NGO’s global shark and ray conservation program said that there needs to be “a complete overhaul of how these species are managed by the tuna RFMOs, starting with recovering the most endangered species and restoring their roles in the ecosystem.”
WWF asked member countries to urgently implement several science-based measures in addition to those already in place. This includes increasing observer coverage to 100 percent for all tuna vessels by 2030; currently only purse seiners have this. The NGO also wants recovery plans introduced for all critically endangered oceanic sharks and rays by 2023, and the endangered ones by 2026. In addition, it wants parties to implement the “fins naturally attached” policy as the only method to comply with shark retention rules.
This years' Almadraba fishing season for bluefin has started. It is accompanied by a series of gastronomic festivals organized by cities in the province of Cadiz, Spain, where this traditional fishing method takes place. Restaurants, bars, and hotels participate in these events, which are called the Almadraba Tuna Route, to delight the locals and tourists with dishes based on the star product: bluefin. Last year, the events were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Chiclana de la Frontera, the sixth edition of the Almadraba Tuna Gastronomic Week will start on May 14. The city of Algeciras organizes a route where 23 culinary delights can be tasted, which also starts on May 14. The celebrations in Conil will last the whole month of May and Barbate reintroduced its tuna route this year, which took place in the first week of May.