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Tuna purse seiner. (Photo: Stock File)

Spain defends world tuna market with clear rules of the game

Click on the flag for more information about Spain SPAIN
Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 21:00 (GMT + 9)

Spain advocates that all countries should have "the same rules of the game" in the environmental area as well as the also social one.

The Secretary General of Fisheries, Alberto López-Asenjo, has defended "clear and transparent rules of the game" for "a market that is as global and open as the tuna one", where the Spanish industry "is having strength and commitment for the future," reported EFE agency.

He has explained that, for example, the Spanish fishing inspection operates with a quality management system that is certified under ISO 9001, a factor that, he said, "makes us leaders in the fight against illegal, undeclared and unregulated fishing (IUU)." In addition, he added that agreements have been signed, such as Convention 188 of the International Labour Organization, aimed at promoting "the social guarantee and employability of the tuna sector", and recovery plans have been put in place.

However, López-Asenjo has recognized that the achievement of the marked goal in terms of "clear rules of the game" will take "years" to meet and has put in value that discussions and forums have already been motivated to move forward on this issue which, he advanced, will also focus discussions at the upcoming Conxemar fair.

On being questioned about the sustainability of the resource with the current level of catches, López-Asenjo has resolved that it is guaranteed and has influenced that "all indicators of recovery plans" reveal that, "in a timid but sustained way, the quota and catch levels worldwide continue to have positive trends."

The position of industries

The president of Anfaco-Cecopesca, Jesús M. Alonso Escurís, has made a "call to attention on a better implementation of the controls of the existing laws" and has demanded a "thorough surveillance" to avoid "the overexploitation that some try to make of the oceans with impunity."

The 8th World Tuna Conference, which concludes today, has been attended by more than 350 company managers from some thirty countries.

Escurís has talked about the "overexploitation" of the oceans and has put in value the work done by the Traceability Laboratory in this respect, pointing to tuna as "a fundamental ingredient in the economic development of many countries."

He stressed that Spain "is a power both in consumption" of this product and "in its fishing, processing and conservation" and has valued that the conference brings together in the Galician town the representatives of the large tuna companies in the world.

The president of the Xunta, Alberto Núñez Feijoo, mentioned the regional strategic plan of the canning sector created with the collaboration of this industry and recalled that the text includes "a commitment to the orientation of high quality products to the gourmet markets, for the search of added value for the by-products of fishing and discards, and a reinforcement of the promotion."

For his part, the Secretary General of Fisheries recalled that tuna catches account for a third of the Spanish total and has affected "the permanent challenge" facing the industry, for which he advocated "to see consumption as a guarantee of the future".

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