A new report shows that significant progress is being made in meeting commitments agreed by signatories to the Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration. The industry-led Global Tuna Alliance is spearheading efforts to support companies in turning those commitments into action – to stop illegal tuna getting to market, and to promote improvements in both environmental sustainability and human rights in tuna fisheries across the world.

Results have just been released of a survey circulated to signatories of the Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration. The findings demonstrate significant progress has been made in some areas, while much more is needed in others. To support further progress, the Global Tuna Alliance will soon be sharing toolkits, one for each commitment, to help companies further accelerate their progress.

Many companies have made very encouraging progress across the different Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration commitments, while others have indicated areas still in need of urgent improvement. Global Tuna Alliance is providing guidance across the tuna supply chain to support companies in meeting the commitments – for the good of tuna fish stocks, a sustainable tuna fishing industry and improved human rights on the ocean,” said Tom Pickerell, Executive Director of Global Tuna Alliance.

At the United Nations Ocean Conference in 2017, sixty-six companies in global tuna supply chains signed the World Economic Forum’s Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration. Their aim was to clean up global tuna supply chains across social and environmental criteria, as well as stopping illegally caught tuna from getting to market and boosting government partnerships in the sector..

The Global Tuna Alliance, an inclusive constituency of companies with a major interest in improving the sustainability of the tuna sector, is working with the World Economic Forum and Friends of Ocean Action in actively supporting the objectives laid out in the Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration to eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

It is encouraging to see these companies report important progress in delivering on their commitment to improve the social and environmental record of the tuna they trade and sell.  I look forward to seeing others follow in their footsteps.  With strong leadership across the supply chain, from fishers to retailers, business can be a vital engine for driving sustainability into the world’s tuna fisheries and a powerful voice for inspiring governments to do their part” said Jim Leape, Co-Director of Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions and member of Friends of Ocean Action.

The survey results have been used to generate a progress report highlighting examples of ‘best practice’, where commitments have been achieved, and the methods or systems used to provide route maps for success. For example:

  • Significant progress has been made by signatories on meeting the traceability commitment, but progress on the government partnership commitment was the lowest scoring by each supply chain sector. Interoperability remains a challenge for companies addressing traceability.
    • Several companies have systems in place for meeting the social responsibility commitment ‘on land’, but there was a clear gap in ‘at-sea’ verification. This aligns with specific support identified regarding the need for third-party auditable standards on vessels.
    • Twenty-three companies have already made a pledge to source from tuna fisheries that meet the environmental sustainability commitment.
    • Advocacy for the development of harvest strategies and harvest control rules is the only area where companies have had the most difficulty engaging in a significant way so far.

The survey revealed clear actions that are needed to support signatories in meeting, or progressing the aims of, the Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration commitments:

  • In meeting the Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration, support should be focussed on reinforcing the importance of the Global Dialogue for Seafood Traceability which can provide the standardized Key Data Elements and frameworks for interoperable IT systems.
    • Significant progress can be made toward meeting the social responsibility commitment if signatories actively use the third-party vessel standards becoming available through 2020.
    • Further progress can be made on the environmental sustainability commitment achieved if signatories commit to source tuna from fisheries with third-party certification against a GSSI-recognized standard, or support a credible and comprehensive Fishery Improvement Project.
    • More progress can be made towards meeting the government partnership commitment if signatories actively participate in advocacy efforts coordinated by representative organizations, such as the Global Tuna Alliance and ISSF.

Another survey is planned later this year to check on further progress.

Media contact:

Gemma Parkes on gpa@weforum.org

GTA contact:

Tom Pickerell on tom@globaltunaalliance.com

Notes to editor:

Download the Executive Summary here: https://www.globaltunaalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Executive-Summary-FINAL.pdf

More on Global Tuna Alliance: https://www.globaltunaalliance.com

More on Friends of Ocean Action work on tuna traceability: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_FOA_2pp_IUU_OVERVIEW_JAN2020.pdf