World Tuna Day is celebrated on 2 May 2023. Each year on World Tuna Day we raise awareness about ending overfishing and safeguarding tuna supplies for the future.
Why do we need World Tuna Day?
Tuna is an important food commodity, which faces a number of challenges:
- Increasing demand leading to overfishing - The latest industry estimates suggest 22% of tuna stocks are experiencing overfishing and 13% are overfished
- Tuna fishing can be associated with bycatch problems - catching and entangling seabirds, sharks and marine mammals. Different fisheries have vastly different impacts depending on how the fishing gears are used and where the tuna is fished.
For tuna populations to thrive, fisheries need robust management, effective enforcement, and reductions in catching unwanted or endangered species or bycatch.
Consequently, it can take years of improvements and reforms for fisheries to be independently assessed and achieve MSC certification.
World Tuna Day aims to accelerate action to protect the future of tuna.
What is being done to protect tuna?
Overall, more than half of global tuna catch is now either MSC certified as sustainable or working towards that goal:
- Almost 30% of the global catch is now MSC certified.
- More than 20% of the global tuna catch by volume is being independently audited against the MSC Fishery Standard.
- Nearly 20% of global tuna catch is taken by fisheries in a fisheries improvement project (FIP), an initiative that puts fisheries on a path towards sustainability.
World Tuna Day 2023 theme
The MSC's 2023 theme for World Tuna Day is Yes We Can.
We need to conserve our wonderful tuna resources for future generations. Get involved in the conversation with #WorldTunaDay and #BigBlueFuture and tag @MSCbluefishtick for the chance to have your post shared to our networks.
World Tuna Day activities
From raising awareness to taking action or simply enjoying sustainable tuna, there's plenty you can do to take part this World Tuna Day. Together, we're on a mission to end overfishing - a major global goal enshrined within the UN sustainable development goals.
Three things you can do this World Tuna Day...
1 - Cook sustainable tuna on World Tuna Day
Our Guide to Eating Sustainable Tuna makes it easy to enjoy tuna.
2 - Look for the MSC blue fish tick label when shopping.
3 - Read about where sustainable skipjack tuna come from
Small islands, big opportunities
The island nations of the central Pacific don't have much land. But they have an awful lot of ocean - and a precious resource within it.
World Tuna Day in Australia and New Zealand
Even though World Tuna Day is a global day to protect tuna, there's plenty that can be done locally to support sustainable tuna.
In Australia or New Zealand, skipjack is the tuna species most likely found in tins. 50% of skipjack tuna stocks are found in the Western Central Pacific Ocean, where eight Pacific island nations control the PNA tuna fishery, which has passed the rigorous, science-based tests set by the MSC that make sure it is fishing sustainably. When you buy a can of John West tuna with the blue fish tick, the skipjack inside can be traced back to the PNA fishery.