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Balfegó Launches Bluefin Tuna Fishing Campaign

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Wednesday, May 22, 2024, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

  • The fleet commanded by Balfegó will capture an assigned quota of 3,087 tons and will do so, for the first time, under the B Corp sustainability seal
  • The company, the first in the Spanish fishing sector to have B Corp certification, applies its own protocol, a pioneer in safety, animal welfare and digitalization

The fleet commanded by Grupo Balfegó will begin the annual fishing campaign for bluefin tuna (Thunnus Thynnus) on May 26. The company will have just over a month (from May 26 to July 1) to capture the quota assigned to the different Spanish, French and Italian ships that supply Balfegó, which this year amounts to 3,087 tons of the species. Specifically, Balfegó will have 10 European vessels supplying live bluefin tuna, including La Frau II and Tio Gel Segon, owned by the company based in L'Ametlla de Mar, in addition to 23 auxiliary vessels.

Source: Balfegó

This campaign will be the first in which Balfegó operates under the B Corp1 sustainability seal, having become the first company in the Spanish fishing sector to achieve this last March. Precisely, one of the many actions or measures adopted to obtain said certification has been the “Balfegó protocol”, currently unique in the purse seine fishery and a pioneer in animal welfare, safety and digitalization.

This protocol facilitates maneuvers and increases product quality ratios, in addition to providing greater safety to sailors during fishing tasks. Thus, it contemplates a maximum of three captures and transfers per day, the immediate transfer of the capture to the transport pool, and not capturing schools that are too large (with too many specimens). All of this also translates into a palpable increase in the eco-efficiency of the fleet and a reduction in its environmental impact, also ensuring the well-being of the animals.

Grupo Balfegó's initiatives have served as an example in the inclusion of practices to improve the bluefin tuna fishery and control measures, such as the presence of independent observers on board – in this campaign they will be accompanied by nine members of the International Commission for Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT)–. Likewise, fishing operations and the transfer of captured tunas between pools will be monitored by stereoscopic cameras that will allow the average weight of the catches to be accurately determined.

The company, which will generate around 300 direct jobs during this campaign, trusts that the weather will be favorable and will allow them to work normally and without the need to remain at anchor for any day. It should be remembered that in the 2023 campaign, five days of effective fishing in the western Mediterranean were enough for the fleet commanded by Balfegó to capture its assigned quota, a total of 2,830 tons, from the agreed trade agreements.

Balfegó hopes that by the end of this year's campaign, the conflict between the State's Maritime Fisheries inspectors, 167 workers in total, who have been demanding improvements in their safety, remuneration and the recognition that they carry out, will have been resolved. a job that requires 24 hours of availability. For Balfegó, the lack of availability of maritime fishing inspectors can delay and even block different maneuvers related to fishing, such as the entry of tuna into the company's aquaculture facilities, which require their supervision and control, which could imply a restriction or impediment in the operation of the company.

Source: Balfegó (Translated from the original in Spanish)

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