To be read out at the Regional IOTC meeting week of 17th June 2019.
“The following statement is endorsed by the following processors and retailers, representing almost 100% of the chilled yellowfin tuna being sold in UK retailers. Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Co-op, New England Seafood International
We the undersigned, believe that there has never been a more important moment within IOTC’s history to offer a market perspective, that we can only hope has some impact in reaching a decision that is vital to protect and conserve one of the most globally important seafood species in the world, one that is now under serious threat.
Yellowfin tuna from the Indian Ocean is currently sold by most major supermarkets in the UK. Responsible retailers have sought to influence best practice through our supply chains at a fishery level, as well as advocating for the adoption of effective policy by members of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC). However, we have serious concerns that regardless of these efforts, the stock continues to be in a vulnerable state due to the lack of an effective rebuilding plan, nor the adoption of a robust harvest strategy.
Retailers and their suppliers have all made firm commitments to source responsible seafood from well managed fisheries. Regrettably, this stock does not meet these requirements at present, and we now need to see improvements to bring Indian Ocean tuna in line with these sourcing commitments. We are urging IOTC delegations to follow scientific advice and agree to a resolution which will confidently rebuild the stock to ensure it is no longer overfished, nor subject to overfishing.
All of the people in this room have the power to make a change this week that will not only deliver a better situation for yellowfin tuna, but also set a global precedent to show that RFMOs are able to operate effectively and deliver the improvements required when necessary. We implore you to do what is necessary and right to ensure the protection of this species going forwards.”
Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Co-op, New England Seafood International