Response : Tuna labelling

Don’t misunderstand us

This is a response to the editorial comment in SAMUDRA Report No. 33 of November 2002

This response is from Yuichiro Harada (, Managing Director, Organization for Promotion of Responsible Tuna Fisheries (OPRT), Tokyo, Japan

I read the Comment on the first page of SAMUDRA Report No.33 with much interest. I am pleased to note the Comment states that our concern about illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and flags of convenience (FOC) fishing vessels are valid and understandable.

In the meantime, I am concerned about the comment regarding the small-scale tuna longline fisheries. I wish to inform you of our position concerning the point raised by you, so that the mission and activities of the Organization for Promotion of Responsible Tuna Fisheries (OPRT) may not be misunderstood.

1. OPRT’s basic objective is to contribute to the development of responsible tuna fisheries in line with international and social responsibility as well as to promote the sustainable use of tuna through the co-operation of all stakeholders.

2. OPRT’s first major project at present is to work toward the elimination of all IUU tuna fishing vessels. These are large-scale tuna longline fishing vessels with super-freezing capacities, having high mobility and operating in high seas beyond regional boundaries. These largescale tuna longline fishing vessels are the source of IUU tuna fishing. We are, therefore, concentrating our efforts to eliminate them.

3. OPRT does not have any intention to “leave a third group in the cold. OPRT does not have any intention to “reward a few. The measures we are developing and implementing are designed to eliminate IUU tuna fishing activities by large-scale tuna longline fishing vessels and not to give any adverse impact to the small-scale tuna longline fisheries in the developing countries.

We hope our position as above stated may be helpful to increase your understanding about us and we request your kind consideration to carry it in your next edition.