PH to adopt monitoring mechanism for tuna industry
With aims to transform the country’s tuna industry and make it sustainable, the Philippines is now planning to adopt a monitoring mechanism that ranks canneries based on a certain criteria.
This was according to Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and environmental organization Greenpeace, who developed the Tuna Cannery Ranking Tool.
“BFAR is fully supportive of the call for Philippine tuna canneries to strengthen their standards on traceability, sustainability, and social equity. It is our hope that through this initiative, we will become more motivated to pursue more sustainable practices and contribute to the global efforts for sustainable tuna management and conservation,” DA Undersecretary and BFAR Director Eduardo B. Gongona said in a statement.
The Philippines is in a position to influence the global tuna industry, as the country is among the highest producers of tuna in the world, second only to Indonesia.
The Philippines is also the fifth largest exporter of processed and preserved tuna, exporting USD370 million in 2017.
The cannery ranking assesses whether the performance of tuna canneries are in the red (fail), yellow (fair), or green (good) zones, using seven criteria: traceability, sustainability of current sourcing, legality, equity/social responsibility, sourcing policy, transparency and customer information, and driving change.
The first ranking, for 2015, revealed Philippine canneries as having failing performance in almost all criteria.
Consequently, some canneries improved some of their practices, as seen in the second ranking.
Greenpeace is expecting the third ranking to reveal more canneries in the yellow zone, but are hoping that canneries will all race to green.
“Philippine canneries going green is important, as local and global consumers and markets are increasingly demanding sustainable, traceable, and equitable tuna. Canneries play a key role in making sure that tuna will continue to swim our waters, thus contributing to ensuring food security and livelihoods for Filipinos,” Greenpeace Philippines campaigner Vince Cinches said.