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Working with tuna retailers to promote change in fishery practices

Posted on: 29th May 2019
Becky Ingham presenting the Hookpod to tuna retailers in Boston, 2019.
In early March 2019 the worlds largest Seafood Expo took place in Boston, US. With over 22,000 attendees, Seafood Expo North America is North America’s largest seafood exposition. Thousands of buyers and suppliers from around the world attend the annual, three-day expo to meet, network and do business. Attending buyers represent importers, exporters, wholesalers, restaurants, supermarkets, hotels, and other retail and foodservice companies. Exhibiting suppliers offer the newest seafood products, processing and packaging equipment, and services available in the seafood market. 


As a fore-runner to this event, there are two days of conference relating to fisheries and the main element of this years’ conference was sustainability. As part of this, Hookpod was invited to address the Tuna Supply Roundtable, a collection of over 75 people representing over 90% of the worlds’ tuna-purchasing capacity. 


Whilst we continue to work closely at fishery level and increase awareness and use of the Hookpod from a ground up approach, one of the key ways in which we can influence fishing habits is to impact on the retail chain. With customers demanding more and more environmentally friendly and sustainably caught fish, the pressure from the market itself can be a huge force in addressing fishing methods and promoting best practice.


Influencing the supply chains for tuna around the world and putting some pressure from buyers on the fishery to use the best possible mitigation has always been in our sights. Now we have the approval from Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission we are also listed on the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP)best practice mitigation methods in a recent report.


In conjunction with the SFP, we had the chance to demonstrate Hookpod, show our research results and promote the use of the pod as best practice in front of market leaders in this field. There was a lot of interest in the Hookpod, and all attendees were given a sample pod, and a memory stick containing the explainer video, our research papers, footage of Hookpods in action and leaflets.


As a result of this we have begun discussions with several tuna buyers working with large fleets and involved in Fishery Improvement Projects and hope that this will lead to large scale commercial trials in the future.