Bolton Food commits to responsible tuna fishing in the Indian Ocean

WWF welcomes action to combat overfishing, unregulated practices

(ANSA) - ROME, JUN 3 - Bolton Food, the Food Business Unit of the Bolton Group, has pledged to take action to combat the overfishing of tuna and other unregulated practices that threaten the health of the Indian Ocean, winning praise from environmental NGO WWF.
    According to the new "Bolton Food Tuna Sourcing Policy", the European leader in the production of canned tuna will gradually reduce in its use of yellowfin tuna caught in the Indian Ocean in a big way, cutting it by at least 20% in 2024 compared to its average for the 2017-2019 period.
    Bolton Food, whose brands include the Rio Mare range of tuna products, has also said it will source yellowfin tuna caught in the Indian Ocean exclusively from vessels whose flag State commits to implementing the catch limits decided at the next Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) meeting in June.
    So it will not source from IOTC CPC vessels whose flag State is, or will be, 100% exempted from any catch reduction.
    "As a market leader, we feel it is our duty to be the first to concretely change our practices, to set a good example for all players in the sector to follow," said Luciano Pirovano, Global Sustainable Development Director of the Food Business Unit of the Bolton Group.
    "Therefore, we are committed to buying tuna from stocks that are healthy and support fishing activities that minimize their environmental impacts.
    "This means rethinking our sourcing when necessary and demanding stronger regulations on fisheries management to allow for tuna stock rebuilding and recovery, such as in the case of the Indian Ocean.
    "All our efforts are projected into the future, our desire is to give future generations a healthy ocean and a world where sustainability is the norm, not just a trend".
    Umair Shaid, the Indian Ocean Regional Tuna Manager of WWF, said Bolton Food's new policy was a positive step.
    "The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission and its members failed to achieve consensus and adoption of a rebuilding plan for the overfished yellowfin tuna during the special session last March," Shaid said.
    "WWF welcomes that Bolton Food's commitments are now loud and clear in supporting ambitious conservation and management measures that are an important reminder to the IOTC to act urgently to save the yellowfin tuna stocks from collapsing".


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