The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) and more than 50 retailers, brands, and seafood companies,* including Walmart, Publix, Nestle, Carrefour, and Tesco, today called on the United States, European Union, and approximately 45 governments to implement electronic monitoring in tuna fisheries to protect workers and ensure fishing continues to be sustainable. 

“We are key stakeholders in these fisheries and strongly wish to see the environmental impact of these fisheries managed in a manner consistent with our procurement specifications for sustainable sourcing,” the companies wrote.

In a letter issued today, the companies urged the governments to move rapidly and urgently through the Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) to make electronic monitoring an accepted alternative to human observer coverage in tuna fisheries. This technology already exists, but the governments and RFMOs have been slow to adopt its use. 

In April, at-sea observer programs in tuna fisheries were suspended by the RFMOs, the international governmental bodies responsible for their management, due to COVID-19. Observers document activities and collect data essential to conservation. 

The companies also called for greater transparency to advance the fully effective implementation of electronic monitoring on all fleets and regular review of the COVID-19 situation and risks of restoring human at-sea observers at the earliest safe and practical date. 

*Afritex Ventures Limited, Aldi North, Aldi South, Asda, Beaver Street Fisheries, BirdLife International, Carrefour France, Congalsa, Culinary Collaborations LLC, D&E Import LLC, Direct Ocean, Earthworm, Euclid Fish Company, Fish Is Life, Fishwise, Fortune Fish Co., Frinsa, Giant Eagle, IncredibleFish, Inland Seafoods, Ipswich Shellfish Group, Jealsa/We Sea, Maguro Foods, Mercadona, Metro France, Morrisons, Nestle, New England Seafood International, North Atlantic Inc., Profand, Publix, Rema Foods, Sainsburys, Santa Monica Seafood, Sea Delight, Seacore Seafood Inc., Seafood Imports, Sea Pact, Seattle Fish Co., Stavis Seafoods, Sysco France, Tesco, The Fishin Co., True Worlds Food, True Worlds Group, TUPA, Walmart

Contact: Courtney Sakai, Director of Marketing and Communications, SFP