Our Five-Year Strategy

Our Five-Year Strategy

We are committed to realising harvest strategies for tuna fisheries, avoidance of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) products, improved tuna traceability and environmental sustainability, and progressing human rights in tuna fisheries.

An organisation with a strong purpose is one which inspires higher levels of trust and confidence among its Partners and stakeholders and is one which is more likely to grow sustainably. It is also more likely to be efficient, with strong accountability and a motivated team.

Therefore, this strategy, which launched in 2021, focuses on clearly articulating our vision in a way that lays out a common purpose which Partners and stakeholders can follow, and makes clear our ambition to achieve our objectives.

To do so, we focus our work under our three main strategic priorities: transparency & traceability, environmental sustainability and social responsibility.

GTA Partners can engage in the work programmes through two primary means: direct country engagement and supply chain improvements.

Direct country engagement consists of encouraging countries to ratify and implement legislation, through advocacy letters, meetings, or other means.

Encouraging supply chain improvements consists of lowering barriers which may prevent action by countries, for example improving in-country conditions or practices such as ensuring vessel operators are aware of information required by countries to properly apply international agreements and tools.

It also means understanding and evaluating supply chain risks.

In March 2021, the GTA, Friends of Ocean Action, and the World Economic Forum introduced the 2025 Pledge towards Sustainable Tuna (25PST), calling for signatories to commit to working towards a global tuna sector that meets the highest standards of environmental performance and social responsibility.

In early 2022, the GTA, Friends of Ocean Action, and the World Economic Forum agreed that we should cease 25PST as a standalone endeavour and instead brand our 5-year strategy solely as 25PST. The 25PST is a UN SDG ocean commitment.

Transparency & Traceability

Transparency is the first step towards ensuring sustainable sourcing of tuna and ethical supply chains.

Voluntary disclosure of performance is a powerful tool for driving change in global supply chains. Across sectors, there has been a shift towards increased transparency, which in turn increases accountability within supply chains, providing businesses with an additional incentive to achieve their performance goals. It also allows improved oversight of business practices by investors, consumers and the wider community.

Tuna is one of the most heavily traded commodities around the globe, often passing through many hands. This long and complex journey makes it difficult for product information to be recorded accurately, consistently, and shared openly through each step in the supply chain. For companies that buy and sell tuna, the lack of product origin information and supply chain transparency can pose significant risks. 

The ability to track and verify information about the origin and journey of tuna products as they pass through the supply chain is called traceability. Traceability can be a tool to promote, operationalise, and verify transparency and businesses can use traceability as a tool to collect tuna product details and leverage this information to reduce the risk of illegal and unethical activities in their supply chains.

Our actions

Environmental Sustainability

Tuna is one of the most popular seafoods in the world, traded and enjoyed all over the globe. With this demand comes increased pressure on tuna stocks and associated ecosystems.

Currently, most tuna stocks are at healthy levels, but there are significant variations along with insufficient management and oversight to ensure these populations remain productive and viable – economically and ecologically. 

For tuna populations to thrive, the sector requires robust and coordinated management, effective enforcement, and reductions in catches of endangered, threatened, and protected (ETP) species.

Our actions

Social Responsibility

Human rights abuses in the seafood supply chain have become an increasing area of industry focus with media reports exposing exploitative labour practices, including modern slavery and human trafficking. Labour abuses can happen along the supply chain from recruitment through to processing and distribution. Forced labour is a particular concern where vessels and their crews operate on the high seas, beyond the reach of enforcement agencies.

Crew members can have limited or no safe access to communication methods, effective grievance mechanisms and access to remedy, even those which are usually provided through legislation in the national jurisdictions that do not apply on the high seas.

In addition to at-sea issues, recruitment practices can also put workers at risk. For example, where workers pay excessive recruitment fees as a condition of obtaining employment, they can be subject to debt bondage.

This, and the recruitment of workers using coercive behaviour, or based on mis-information about the job on offer, such as pay and working conditions, are indicators of modern slavery. Responsible recruitment practices will address these risks for fishers.

Also, international migrants may be isolated not only physically at sea, but by language and culture. Social isolation and an absence of effective grievance mechanisms can leave workers exposed to abuse. Where retention of personal documents such as passports and visas occur, workers can find themselves in forced labour situations, unable to speak out or walk away from abusive conditions for fear of ending up in an undocumented status.

Our actions

Progress Tracker

A real point of difference for the GTA is the comprehensive annual tracking of our Partners’ progress. We know that in business, facts and figures matter, so GTA Partners take part in extensive and thorough tracking allowing us to analyse effectiveness and performance year on year, and measure the success of the five-year strategy.

In 2022, the GTA published its first progress report, collating the results of a self-completed, anonymous questionnaire by partners, carried out at the end of 2021. This survey tested Partners’ progress towards our three strategic objectives against a set of measurable KPIs.

Similar self-completed surveys will be carried out in 2022 and 2023.

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