World Tuna Day
More than 7 million metric tons of tuna and tuna-like species are harvested yearly. These migratory tuna species account for 20 percent of the value of all marine capture fisheries and over 8 percent of all globally traded seafood. With that information in mind, we need to recognize the critical role of tuna in sustainable development, food security, economic opportunity, and the livelihoods of people around the world. Stopping overfishing is of vital importance. Yet, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations notes that market demand for tuna is still high and that the significant overcapacity of tuna fishing fleets remains.
Addressing the decline in tuna stocks resulting from overfishing in the world’s oceans, the UN Legal Counsel emphasizes the critical importance of effectively implementing the international legal framework, as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, widely known as UNCLOS, which has been strengthened by the Code of Conduct for Sustainable Fishery, the UN Fish Stocks Agreement, recommendations of its Review Conference, annual General Assembly resolutions on sustainable fisheries, as well as other efforts by the international community at the global, regional and national levels.
At present, over 96 countries are involved in the conservation and management of tuna, which has an annual value of almost 10 billion USD, and some FAO relevant programmes have started giving positive results in reducing overfishing.