Yellowfin Tuna: School’s In Session

By Don Ehrlich :: July 12, 2021

Overfishing is one of the most problematic issues facing our oceans. Because of its popularity, Yellowfin tuna has been overfished to critical levels and is in danger of collapse if nothing is done to protect the stock. The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) has been besieged by requests from organizations to develop more stringent regulations to protect Yellowfin tuna populations in the Indian Ocean.

While we don’t see much of this stock in the United States, the fish are often harvested and consumed in Europe leaving the status off our radars. But in an effort to protect the tuna, more international businesses are adopting stricter guidelines about using only suppliers who adhere 100% to the IOTC rules. The biggest name currently putting pressure on the IOTC is Bolton Group, the owner of tuna supplier Tri-Marine, a behemoth in the tuna industry.

“As a market leader, we feel it is our duty to be the first to concretely change our practices, to set a good example for all players in the sector to follow,” said Luciano Pirovano, the global sustainable development director at Bolton Group. Their plans include purchasing “exclusively from vessels whose flag state commits to implement the catch limits decided at the next IOTC meeting in June 2021.” and “a progressive and significant reduction in its use of yellowfin tuna caught in the Indian Ocean, reaching a reduction of at least 20 percent in 2024 compared to its average supply in the period 2017-2019.”

“Therefore, we are committed to buying tuna from stocks that are healthy and support fishing activities that minimize their environmental impacts,” Pirovano said. “This means rethinking our sourcing when necessary and demanding stronger regulations on fisheries management to allow for tuna stock rebuilding and recovery, such as in the case of the Indian Ocean. All our efforts are projected into the future, our desire is to give future generations a healthy ocean and a world where sustainability is the norm, not just a trend.”

There are two ways to bring about change, enforcement by the government or enforcement by the market. Enforcement by the market is much more influential. Bolton taking these steps to lead a market-oriented push to force change in the Indian Ocean Tuna harvest, We’re hoping it’s a precursor to other suppliers moving toward a more sustainable set of best practices so that our oceans become and remain healthy for generations to come.

CFI is dedicated to best practices both in the verticals we serve and in the services we provide. It’s our dedication to delivering the freshest seafood, safest produce, and most transparent advanced technology to keep our clients able to provide the freshest products around the world. If you’re interested in our cold chain technology or want to learn how CFI can help you ship frozen and fresh seafood while protecting the ocean contact us today!