OPAGAC, the Spanish purse seiner association of which Albacora is an active member, will take part in the main international forums about eradication of illegal fishing to explain its model of responsible fishing.
May and June will be relevant months in regard to international forums on fisheries, and OPAGAC will be present in almost all of them. After taking part in London last March, at the meeting promoted by the “Seafood Alliance for Legality and Traceability” (SALT), recently the Spanish fleet explained its model at the “Seafood Expo Global” in Brussels. OPAGAC will also be present in London, for the “11th International Forum on IUU fishing”; and later, in May, at the “Infofish World Tuna Trade Conference & Exhibition” in Bangkok. Last, but not least, OPAGAC will participate in the “Seaweb Seafood Summit”, which will take place in Barcelona from June 18th to the 21st.
The responsible fishing model exhibited in these forums, which is represented by the APR certificate (“Tuna for Responsible Fisheries”, in Spanish), establishes the best standards for purse seine tuna fisheries in the environmental, control and socioeconomic areas. It is the only certificate to include among its basis the ILO 188 Convention on conditions of work on board, as an essential point to distinguish a socially sustainable and responsible fishing activity. This remains the main aspect not yet considered by most of the best-known ecolabels, including the MSC certification (Marine Stewardship Council).
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that many crewmembers of the fisheries sector still work under conditions that do not respect basic human rights, and there are many cases reported by international organizations and NGOs which include inhuman treatment or even child labor practices.
In this regard, OPAGAC believes that the first steps to fight this situation are already taking place at sea, and this would be the best possible moment for the rest of the industry players to join the same objective.
“The implication of the entire value chain will avoid, for example, that the EU imports raw material from dehumanized and illegal fisheries for European markets,” says Julio Morón, managing director of OPAGAC. “We cannot tolerate the existence of fleets that commercialize their tuna catches with an ecolabel, when the conditions in which the crew members of their vessels live and work, are far from respecting basic social and labour rights,” said Morón.
Albacora fully shares OPAGAC´s social vision, and we channel this commitment both through the APR certification and ITF´s Collective Bargaining Agreement.