UNOC meeting

Bermeo Tuna World Capital presents, at a United Nations event, an international alliance to boost tuna sustainability

  • The presentation took place yesterday, 28 June, in the framework of the second World Conference on Oceans that the United Nations is currently holding in Lisbon.
  • BTWC presented in a virtual meeting the International Declaration for Tuna Sustainability, a global and collaborative initiative that seeks to join voices to ensure an efficient management of this fishery resource.
  • It also unveiled the Bermeo Tuna Forum, the first international forum on the sustainability of the tuna sector, which will take place in 2023 in Bilbao and Bermeo.

Bermeo, 29th June 2022.- Bermeo Tuna World Capital (BTWC) has been one of the entities selected to participate in the official programme of the second UN Ocean Conference, held in Lisbon from June 27th to July 1st. Yesterday, June 28th, BTWC was represented by Ignacio Serrats (president of BTWC) and Aritz Abaroa (vice-president of BTWC) at the world meeting to present the International Declaration for Tuna Sustainability.

This is a global and collaborative alliance, promoted by Bermeo Tuna World Capital, which aims to unite the main tuna cities around the world and all the agents related to tuna under the same commitment to the sustainable management and development of the oceans and, mainly, of tuna and its catch.

“Tuna is the basis for the economic development of more than 90 countries, 20% of the value of the world’s fisheries and 25% of the total protein consumed in the world. It is also a ‘superfood’ in terms of health thanks to its properties. Therefore, we see the need to recognise and safeguard the fundamental role of the tuna sector in the sustainable development of humanity,” explained Ignacio Serrats, President of the BTWC yesterday.

With this International Declaration, the initiators want to launch an initiative to ensure the sustainability of this natural resource, which is close to its maximum sustainable yield. “Taking into account the population growth forecast and the fact that we are talking about a protein that is caught in the wild (without the possibility of being produced in aquaculture), this food is expected to become increasingly scarce and more expensive,” warns Serrats. “It is time to launch a global movement to help promote the sustainable management of tuna and to fight against illegal fishing (currently estimated at around 20% of the tuna caught), which endangers the sustainability of this species,” added Serrats.

For these reasons, BTWC seeks to add voices at a global level to support different commitments such as, addressing tuna sustainability in a comprehensive manner, recognising the environmental, social, economic and cultural characteristics of fisheries and the people involved in their management and exploitation; promoting social standards and the improvement of labour rights of all people involved in the tuna value chain, with special relevance to fishermen; or promoting gender equality at all stages of the tuna value chain.

Delegates from “tuna cities” such as Bermeo, Manta (Ecuador) or Port Victoria (Seychelles), where tuna is a fundamental part of their economy and social processes, as well as of their history and future projection, participated in the event sharing their perspective on the sustainable management of the tuna sector and the opportunities that this International Declaration offers to contribute to greater competitiveness and sustainability, in line with the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

Bermeo Tuna Forum

In addition, the presentation event of the International Declaration for Tuna Sustainability was also the moment chosen to announce the Bermeo Tuna Forum, a new international forum on the sustainability of the tuna fishing sector that will be held for the first time in 2023 in Bilbao and Bermeo (Spain).

The event will bring together world-class experts in the same space to promote debate and thinking that will facilitate the creation of synergies for the management and sustainable development of the tuna fishing sector.

“Year after year, we will be adding new editions that consolidate our objectives and commitment to the 2030 Agenda and its Goals, while incorporating new ambassadors: Tuna and Peace, Tuna and Oceans, Tuna and Decent Employment, Tuna and Gender…”, announced the president of BTWC.

Bermeo Tuna Forum 2023 will also be sealed with the signing of the Agreement of the International Declaration for Tuna Sustainability.

About the UN Ocean Conference

The second edition of the UN Ocean Conference, jointly organised by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, aims to launch a new chapter in global action for the oceans based on science and innovation for the implementation of SDG 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

Ignacio Serrats (president of BTWC) and Aritz Abaroa vice-president of BTWC and mayor of Bermeo) and Leire Egiarte (technical secretariat) have travelled to Lisbon to represent BTWC Association in the different official events that will take place from 27 June to 1 July.

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