Member companies of the Pacific Alliance for Sustainable Tuna, representing 93 percent of tuna production in Mexico, have announced they will refrain from fishing Pacific Bluefin tuna until 2020.
Their decision comes after working with Mexico's National Commission for Fisheries and Aquaculture (CONAPESCA), the National Fisheries Institute (INAPESCA), and scientific experts at the InterAmerican Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) to develop strategy to recover the Bluefin, a species facing serious pressure from overfishing. It also follows WWF’s warning to fisheries last year that the Bluefin can only be sustained by halving catch limits.
Tuna is one of the most valuable fisheries in the world, but overfishing threatens its sustainability. Pacific Bluefin breeding stock has declined from unfished levels by 96 percent, according to leading fisheries scientists.
The Pacific Alliance for Sustainable Tuna says it is committed to science-based fisheries management and business decisions that consider the environment.
"By withdrawing from the highly lucrative bluefin market for five years to allow the stocks to recover, our members are putting their money where their mouths are," said Mariana Ramos Sanchez, Director of the Pacific Alliance for Sustainable Tuna. "It is the right thing to do for the environment, and we hope other companies will follow suit."
"Our member companies will continue to lead on sustainable fishing – ensuring that consumers can feel good every time they eat Mexican tuna," she continued.
Members of the Alliance include companies Grupomar, Herdez Del Fuerte, Pesca Azteca, and Procesa.
The commitment of these companies coincides with a recent report from Oregon State University that documents organizations and corporations successfully moving away from short-term exploitations of the natural world, such as overfishing, and espousing a long-term perspective of “nature as capital.”