The Movement for Sustainable Tuna Has Gone Global

By Susan Jackson

May 2, 2017

World Tuna Day is upon us again, on May 2. Every year, the observance gives stakeholders on the march toward sustainable management of the world’s tuna resources a chance to reflect on recent progress, both material advances as well as symbolic ones.

First celebrated globally in 2012, World Tuna Day was established in 2011 by the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA). It has increased in importance year after year, as increased concern, resources and conservation measures have been directed to promoting more sustainable practices in tuna fisheries.

Last December, the United Nations General Assembly voted without objection to acknowledge World Tuna Day as an internationally recognized event — reinforcing the importance of tuna to the world. We now have a global unified front of NGOs — including ISSF — as well as scientists, industry participants and others sharing best practices, teaming up on advocacy efforts and dedicating scientific and technological resources to improve tuna conservation. (In fact, our upcoming 2016 annual report will focus on “best practices, better solutions.”)

When World Tuna Day began, this level of collaboration and the unified will to effect change didn’t exist the way it does today.

There is still a great deal of work ahead, but the movement has gone global, it has scientific integrity, and it has the support of much of the tuna industry. It is so much more than just a day.