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The responsible fishing standard of the Spanish tuna fleet as a reference for Thai Union and GSA

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020, 05:00 (GMT + 9)

 

Both entities sign an initial one-year agreement to exchange information and knowledge with AENOR, certifier of the standard for our fleet

Madrid - The largest producer of canned tuna in the world Thai Union and Global Seafood Assurances (GSA) 1 will take as a reference the treatment of labor rights on board contained in the Tuna for Responsible Fishing (APR by its acronym in Spanish) standard of the Spanish tuna fleet to incorporate them to their social certification systems for fishing activity.

For this, both organizations have signed a collaboration agreement with AENOR, which currently certifies the 380,000 tons of tuna caught by the 47 vessels grouped in the Organization of Associated Producers of Large Freezer Tuna Vessels (OPAGAC).

Through this agreement, Thai Union, GSA and AENOR will exchange knowledge and resources to improve their respective standards and thus guarantee optimal socio-labor conditions for the crew of the fishing fleets. The agreement, which will have an initial duration of one year, is also open to the incorporation of other market players interested in developing or improving their own certification schemes.

The Spanish fleet, responsible for 8% of the world's tuna catches, promotes the fight against the violation of human rights - slavery on board, human trafficking or child exploitation - practices reported on board some fleets, mainly Asian ones. For this, the AENOR Responsible Fishing Tuna seal distinguishes the entire value chain of tropical tuna caught and processed by the companies and the 47 vessels grouped in OPAGAC and certified under the UNE 195006 Responsible Fishing Tuna Standard.

This seal is a pioneer in the global fishing sector and, among other issues, guarantees compliance with the working conditions on board required by the International Labor Organization (ILO) in its Fishing Work Convention (2007-188). In this way, distributors and consumers have the guarantee that the tuna they sell and purchase is backed by demanding standards in socio-labor and safety at sea, also in line with the International Maritime Organization (IMO). With this, OPAGAC contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) number 8 (Decent Work) and 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production).

Photo: courtesy OPAGAC

In its efforts to internationalize the APR standard, OPAGAC has fostered AENOR's collaboration with Thai Union and GSA, with the aim of promoting the principles of social sustainability on board the fishing fleet in future certifications in application or development. In this sense, OPAGAC also carried out a comparison work with the Monterey Framework standard in 2019, together with the NGO Conservation International (CI), so that the principles included in APR could be validated against the standard that this organization is promoting. for its application to all fishery improvement projects, better known by its English acronym FIP and collected on the platform www.FisheryProgress.org.

According to Julio Morón, managing director of OPAGAC, “it is undeniable that the question of labor law in fishing is complex. In addition to the difficulty of ensuring that existing standards are respected thousands of kilometers from the mainland, it is where regulations and interests of a very diverse nature converge. For this reason, it is excellent news that more and more fleets are making socio-occupational responsibility a pillar of our activity and, above all, we collaborate to promote our example in the protection of the crew, our main asset, as well as the improvement of conditions working in fishing fleets around the world ”.

1 Non-profit organization focused on guaranteeing the traceability of the entire value chain of fishery and aquaculture products in accordance with sustainability and social responsibility.

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