First ever World Tuna Day highlights importance of sustainability

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Fishermen offloading tunas at the industrial fish port of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Photo: FAO/Sia Kambou

The first ever World Tuna Day is being marked by the UN on Tuesday, 2 May, in an effort to highlight the importance of sustainable fishing, as part of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs.

Many countries depend heavily on tuna for food security, nutrition, economic development, culture and recreation.

Matthew Wells reports.

World Tuna Day was designated last year, through a resolution in the UN General Assembly.

At present, more than 80 states have tuna fisheries, which represents thousands of fishing vessels operating throughout the ocean, in order to meet growing world demand.

In the Pacific region, the Parties to the so-called Nauru Agreement (PNA) have been campaigning for a World Tuna Day since 2011.

They represent 25 per cent of the world's tuna, consisting of the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.

The agreement limits the number of fishing days, and has both advanced the sustainable management of tuna and doubled revenue to PNA countries, according to the UN Environment Agency (UNEP).

A host of other measures have been agreed, vastly increasing the amount of sustainably-caught skipjack tuna from around 7,000 tons to 100,000 tons forecast this year.

The PNA is encouraging more people to get involved in World Tuna Day to highlight the importance of the fish to local culture and lifestyles, through events such as the World Tuna Day Art competition.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1’03″

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