one-by-one tuna conference concludes with declaration of support

one-by-one tuna conference concludes with declaration of support

The Azores Declaration in Support of One-by-One Tuna Fisheries establishes definitive commitment to ensure a sustainable and equitable future for fisheries as well as to prioritise the needs of associated communities and cultures.

Hosted by the Government of the Azores’ Regional Secretariat for the Sea, Science and Technology and the International Pole & Line Foundation, the world’s first international one-by-one tuna fisheries conference concluded with participants issuing The Azores Declaration in Support of One-by-One Tuna Fisheries.

The Declaration calls for six key principles to be supported throughout all one-by-one tuna fishery supply chains.

Those are:

  1. Sustainability to be approached in a holistic manner that acknowledges the environmental, social and economic characteristics of fisheries and the people involved.
  2. The socio-cultural heritage of one-by-one tuna fisheries to be respected and supported.
  3. The economic, social and cultural rights of women to be addressed, strengthened and protected to enable them to participate fully in, and benefit from one-by-one tuna fisheries.
  4. One-by-one tuna fisheries to have a valid stake in the resources that is valued and protected.
  5. As well to have their position represented and reflected in fisheries management at all levels.
  6. To have a valid place in the global marketplace and their participation encouraged and not discriminated against or presented with barriers to market.

In signing the Declaration, participants at the conference agreed on three clearly stated courses of action:

  1. Work towards sustainable and equitable tuna fisheries and to address the needs of one-by-one tuna fisheries. 
  2. Use our collective voice to raise the profile of these fisheries with relevant decision makers, throughout supply chains, and to consumers to ensure these fisheries can thrive for generations to come.
  3. Take action to support the one-by-one tuna fisheries and the associated communities and marine environments linked to them.

The conference, held on the island of Faial in the Azores from 16-17 October, was attended by 200 one-by-one fishery stakeholders including fishing associations, commercial fishing industry representatives, processors, suppliers, brands, retailers, governments, researchers and NGOs, with attendees sharing information and learning about the status of all of the world’s leading one-by-one fisheries, as well as the social-economic and environmental dimensions of these fisheries and ways to enhance traceability and better tell the story of one-by-one tuna products and the communities responsible for them.

The event was co-hosted by the International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF), the non-profit association that is committed to developing and supporting responsible one-by-one tuna fisheries and supply chains. Over the past two years, IPNLF has strengthened its engagement in the region, working with its Azores-based Members that include the Azores fishing association Federação das Pescas dos Açores (FPA), producers association Pão-do-Mar and the fishers association Associação de Produtores de Atum e Similares dos Açores (APASA), as well as IPNLF Partner, the Azores Fisheries Observer Program (POPA).

Adam Baske, IPNLF’s Director of Policy & Outreach, says, “The One-by-One Tuna Fisheries Conference and the fantastic engagement that we saw from all of its attendees over the two days showed just how important these fisheries are to coastal communities and supply chains alike. Bringing together those on the cutting edge of socially and environmentally responsible tuna fisheries has already paid off, and we are looking at options for our next gathering.”

Luís Rodrigues, Regional Director of Fisheries for the Government of the Azores, is equally enthusiastic about the conference outcomes, “Moving forward, the signatories to The Azores Declaration have made a firm commitment to support these small-scale, selective and sustainable fisheries and the coastal communities that have long depended upon them for jobs, nutrition and their culture. Together and with other stakeholders and decision makers, we have a responsibility to ensure that the interests of these fisheries are protected and that they have the opportunity to truly flourish.”