Global seafood coalition applauds Japanese government on actions to eliminate IUU fishing; calls for further collaboration between industry and governments

14 April 2021 –Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS), the Global Tuna Alliance (GTA), and the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), a coalition consisting of more than 100 companies, congratulates the Japanese government on the introduction of new fisheries laws to stop distribution in Japan of seafood caught by illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing from both domestic and imported sources. The legislative actions by Japan are considered key drivers towards eliminating IUU fishing, and a significant step towards further governmental and industry collaboration.

“Our organisations congratulate the Japanese government on the introduction of these new laws which are a positive step towards eliminating IUU fishing, globally,” said Therese Log Bergjord, Chair of SeaBOS. “Strong legislation and credible traceability programs help stop IUU seafood production and distribution. The new actions by Japan are in line with outcomes from the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy[1] and this global seafood coalition remains committed to helping put an end to IUU fishing.”

The coalition remains committed to working with governments to ensure sustainable seafood production, which can only happen by stopping IUU fishing on a global scale. They recognise the importance of companies in the seafood supply chain demonstrating support for government actions such as the new laws introduced in Japan, by taking industry initiatives like implementing traceability of the seafood they produce or purchase.

“We believe that if industry and governments act together, fishers engaged in IUU fishing activities will have nowhere to land or sell their catch,” said Tom Pickerell, Executive Director of GTA.

In an earlier statement, the coalition noted the importance of governments ratifying and implementing the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), or implement measures that are consistent with PSMA. Further, for governments to ensure that information on all vessels operating internationally is provided to the FAO Global Record, along with timely exchange of vessel data between flag and port States to enable an effective implementation of port measures is also needed.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Collaboration (APEC) 2021 meeting is recognised as a valuable opportunity to build consensus around the goal of eliminating IUU fishing.

“We hope the government of Japan will join with its partners on the High-Level Panel and with other governments in the Pacific at APEC, in a concerted effort to end the threat that IUU fishing poses to our seafood industry and to the economic and food security of the region” added Susan Jackson, President of ISSF.

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[1] In the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga joined with 13 other heads of state in calling on all governments to act to eliminate IUU fishing by increasing transparency, strengthening monitoring, control and surveillance, and implementing the Port State Measures Agreement; and to prohibit subsidies that drive overfishing and IUU fishing.

The Groups Joining in the Statement

The Global Tuna Alliance (GTA) is an independent group of retailers and tuna supply chain companies that are committed to realizing harvest strategies for tuna fisheries, avoidance of IUU products, improved traceability as well as environmental sustainability, and progressing work on human rights in tuna fisheries. GTA builds on the Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration, signed by 66 companies, and works by utilizing commercial buying power to leverage policy change through direct engagement with decision makers and supply-chain actions.

Direct Media Contact: Tom Pickerell

The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) — a global coalition of seafood companies, fisheries experts, scientific and environmental organizations, and the vessel community — promotes science-based initiatives for long-term tuna conservation, FAD management, bycatch mitigation, marine ecosystem health, capacity management, and illegal fishing prevention. Helping global tuna fisheries meet sustainability criteria to achieve the Marine Stewardship Council certification standard — without conditions — is ISSF’s ultimate objective. ISSF’s 26 participating companies represent the majority of the world’s canned tuna processing capacity.

Direct Media Contact: Mary Sestric

Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS) is a unique collaboration between scientists and seafood companies across the wild capture, aquaculture and feed production sectors, leading a global transformation towards sustainable seafood production, and improving ocean health. The collaboration has been coordinated by the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University. Together, SeaBOS companies represent over 10% of the world’s seafood production and comprise over 600 subsidiary
companies globally.

Direct Media Contact: Sophie Noonan or Sturle Simonsen

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