Tuna Festival… On The Route to Sustainability

Each one of us consumes an average of 20 kg of fish per year — almost the double compared to 50 years ago1.

It would be difficult to imagine our diets without fish and the global search continues to increase.

To satisfy our appetite, we are catching more fish than the ocean can produce. We have reached a place where marine ecosystems and many local communities — especially in developing countries — are at risk.

The overfishing has become the second largest threat to our oceans, after climate change and, soon, there may be no more fish to fish, to produce or to eat.

Fortunately, we can stop the non-sustainable fishing. But we need your help!


The European Union is the world’s leading importer of fish, more than half imported from Asian and African countries and other developing countries, where many local communities rely on fishing to survive.

Fish and shellfish are the most globally traded commodities.

For 800 million2 people, fish is the main source of nutrition and income for their families, most of whom live in developing countries.


In a global economy, our daily choices of fish have a huge impact on marine resources and peoples’ life worldwide. To meet the growing demand overfishing is a major threat and governments and the fishing sector are working to fight it.

However, as a consumer, you don’t have to give up a tuna fillet. What you can do is be sure to support sustainable fishing, which is fish captured in ways that have less impact on marine resources and on the people who depend on them.

Source: Adapted from WWF (2016), “O Guia WWF para consumo do Pescado” (The WWF Guide for fish consumption)

1 FAO. 2016. The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2016
2 LPE, 2014. Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture for food security and nutrition http://www.fao.org/3/a-i3844e.pdf


“The different species of tuna are characterized by being migratory fish and great predators. Tuna is at the top of the food chain. Therefore, its disappearance can have drastic consequences to the oceans, insofar as this species has a regulatory effect on other species in the marine ecosystem. Tuna is considered vulnerable to fishing exploitation because it takes, on average, 4 years to reach reproductive maturity. With a lifespan that ranges from 8 years in the case of bluefin tuna (T. albacares) to 40 years in the case of tuna (T. maccoyii).

Most of the tuna stocks are reaching the maximum limit of exploitation and many of them are declining rapidly or are depleted. Bluefin tuna, for example, is classified as an endangered species in the Atlantic stocks.

In the case of species with high commercial value like bluefin tuna and bigeye tuna, some fleets do not inhibit from giving in to illegal activities like pirate fishing, the non-declaration of catches and illegal transhipments. In addition, the governments are not monitoring the operations properly” (Greenpeace, 2008).


Search for biological brands MSC or ASC which indicate that their fish has responsible certificates and that comes from fishing or sustainable aquiculture.

A fish that is below a certain size isn’t an adult yet and wouldn’t have time to reproduce. Verify if you are buying grown-up fish. Doing so, you will help to restore the products caught in the sea.

In the European Union, you have the legal right to know the full name of the product that you are buying, where it comes from, if it was captured or produced and how; if it’s fresh or frozen. If it’s not visible, ask. If it’s not possible to obtain the answers, don’t buy.

One of the threats is trawling, that consists in the drift of gigantic nets, along the sea bottom, which cause the mass destruction of the habitats, where too much of what comes into the network is not usable, in addiction to catching young fishes.

Experts propose several measures to accelerate the transition of current fisheries with bottom trawling to more sustainable fishing gear. To know more about this situation here.

The diversity in the seafood consumption ensures a more balanced pressure on the marine resources. The biodiversity makes ecosystems stronger. Diversifying their consumption can be fun and it helps the oceans!


The color code of the WORLD WILDLIFE FUND is similar to a set of traffic lights. It’s based on public scientific data and it considers the impact that fishing has on the species’ stock as well as on the environment as a whole.

Learn more about the fish to acquire in www.fishforward.eu/en/

  • Products that are certified by a recommended label MSC, ASC or organic product
  • Think twice
  • Good choice
  • Best to avoid

Source: WWF (2016)

Festival Rota do Atum

Within the framework of the Festival, Vila Baleira Resort joins the promotion of Sustainable Fish Consumption and the Conservation of the Oceans by connecting to two Civil Society Organizations – AIDGLOBAL and ANP/WWF –, with a view to promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), proclaimed by the United Nations.

For that purpose, AIDGLOBAL organizes and promotes the display of a documentary with a debate ”Sustainable Fisheries and Consumption – local challenges in a global world”, on June 9th, at 3.00 p.m., which will be attended by Marta Barata from Associação Natureza Portugal, representing World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

For the younger and their families, AIDGLOBAL facilitates a Peddy Paper ”Discovering the Tuna – in the Route to Sustainability”, on June 8th, at 17 p.m.

A cooking show of sustainable recipes with tuna, led by the WWF representative, is planned for June 8th, at 6.00 p.m.

The dinner tables will illustrate the importance of all of us to contribute to a more sustainable and fair world.

The chefs of world cuisine will be invited to register messages that alert to the Sustainable Consumption of Tuna, and all the participants can write their commitment to this objective.

You, too, must join this Cause!

AIDGLOBAL – Acção e Integração para o Desenvolvimento Global (Action and Integration for Global Development)


AIDGLOBAL is a Non-Profit Organization for Development whose mission is to Act, Include and Develop through Education, promoting an active citizenship and a global change for a sustainable world (www.aidglobal.org).

Currently, Aidglobal is implementing the Project “Educar para Cooperar — Porto Santo e Madeira“, in partnership with the Regional Directorate for Public Administration of Porto Santo, the Municipality of Porto Santo and the Union of Teachers of Madeira, and that, also, has the support of the Hotel Vila Baleira Resort.

The objective of this project is to sensitize, empower and capacitate children, young people, adults and Civil Society Organizations of the islands of Porto Santo and Madeira to the mobilization around the Sustainable Development, the Cooperation between Nations, Cultures and the Human Rights, through cinema, talks, development of projects, training and development of pedagogical resources.

For more information, please contact: Sofia Lopes | [email protected] |​+351 ​​932 469 204 


ANP - WWF ANP mission, in association with the WWF (www.natureza-portugal.org) is the conservation of the national biodiversity and forest ecosystems, the protection of the marine biodiversity and the promotion of sustainable fishing, the conservation of fishing, the conservation of fresh water ecosystems and their hydric resources. ANP also intervenes on the climate change theme and in the promotion of sustainable consumption.

For more information, please contact: Marta Barata | [email protected]

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