Together to support more sustainable fishing and our oceans
WWF and Bolton Food (with its brands Rio Mare, Saupiquet, and Isabel) renewed their transformational partnership for another four years (2021-2024) to promote more sustainable fishing activities. In addition, phase II of the partnership will strengthen advocacy efforts for responsible management of tuna stocks globally.
Why have we decided to collaborate?
Tuna, one of the world’s most commercially valuable fish, are essential for a healthy ocean ecosystem. They are vital to food security for coastal communities and also a fundamental item in the basket of consumers all over the world. However, tuna species are under a lot of pressure from overfishing and unsustainable fishing practices. For this reason, this partnership will continue its focus on helping strengthen the long-term resilience of tuna and other key species and their ecosystems through Rio Mare’s commitments to conduct its fishing activities in an ethical, legal, transparent, and fully traceable manner.
The partnership between WWF and Bolton Food, Europe’s leader in canned tuna production, involves several countries and includes all of the company's production and brands.
What have we achieved so far?
WWF and Bolton Food entered into a four-year partnership with WWF in 2016, aimed at helping safeguard a healthy ocean and the livelihoods of communities that depend on it. Today, almost 70% of Rio Mare’s sourcing comes from MSC certified fisheries or Credible and Comprehensive Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs), up from 20% since the start of the partnership. In terms of transparency and traceability, 100% of Rio Mare’s tuna products are fully traceable from catch to plate, with information being shared in real-time with consumers.
What do we want to achieve in this second phase of partnership?
The second phase of the partnership aims at working to advocate for and help rebuild and protect the health of tuna stocks.
Considering the perilous state of tuna stocks globally, Rio Mare and WWF identified the need to raise Rio Mare’s sustainability commitments through the adoption of a holistic seascape approach for tuna management and sourcing. This approach looks at the oceans as complex systems that need to be healthy, productive, and resilient in order for them to continue to provide thriving healthy fish stocks and help mitigate against the impacts of climate change.
While the MSC certification and Fishery Improvement Projects will remain two important tools for promoting more sustainable fisheries, Rio Mare is committed to looking beyond certifications, adopting projects in line with the WWF tuna strategy.
In addition, the partnership will actively advocate for the adoption of new measures by the tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) with the goal of helping rebuild overfished stocks and preventing overfishing in the future. The partnership will also develop communication campaigns to promote responsible seafood consumption and increase awareness about more sustainable fishing, under the “Together for the oceans” banner.
The long-term goal of the partnership is to ensure a shift towards a more sustainable production and consumption across the whole seafood sector by working across Bolton Food’s supply chains.