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Spanish Super Seiner On Greenpeace IUU Blacklist

Greenpeace has made the decision to add Spanish super seiner ‘Albacora Uno’ back to its blacklist for IUU fishing following recent allegations that the vessel had been involved in illegal tuna fishing activity.

August 2012 saw the removal of the ship from the Greenpeace IUU blacklist after two years had passed since its reported illegal fishing practices in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). But ‘Albacora Uno’ will be branded as an IUU vessel once more as it returns to the blacklist following two accusations coming to Greenpeace’s attention.

In an email of notification sent to Albacora S.A, owners of Albacora Uno, the environmental action group outlined: “On August 18, 2011, the vessel reportedly discarded a ton of skipjack tuna in violation of the IATTC Resolution C-11-01, an allegation described as credible by the Spanish government.

“In July 2012, the Marshall Islands Marine Recourses Authority reportedly imposed a fine of USD 55,000 after shark skins, fins and carcasses were found on board the ‘Albacora Uno’, in violation of applicable law (and contrary to the policy regarding the prohibition of shark finning posted on the Albacora website).”

The super seiner is a listed member of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) and appears on its Pro-active Vessel Register (PVR), confirming its commitment to best practices in sustainable tuna fishing. ISSF was contacted by Greenpeace following ‘Albacora Uno’ being re-posted on its IUU list.

A Greenpeace representative said: “We informed the ISSF because Albacora is an ISSF member and IUU fishing is in breach of ISSF commitments and we encourage them to enforce their rules on members.”

ISSF responded: “ISSF takes accusations linking our participating companies to IUU fishing very seriously. We have received information about the allegations against the ‘Albacora Uno’ and we are reviewing them.

“In regards to the listing, a goal of ISSF’s PVR is to encourage all tuna fishing vessels to adopt improved practices. While IUU vessels are not prohibited from registering, should they appear on any RFMO IUU list, it would be noted on the PVR. Should a vessel’s status change, that change in status would be reflected as well.”

The representative from Greenpeace added: “Albacora S.A. has since contacted us to say they will send us evidence to dispute the listing. We are waiting for the data.”